Anthony Joshua says that he decided not to ask Eddy Reynoso to be his trainer because he was unable to come to the UK to train him.
Joshua spoke to Reynoso when he was looking to change his training team, but Reynoso made it clear that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would be his priority.
Instead, he asked Robert Garcia to replace Robert McCracken as his main trainer to work alongside Angel Fernandez initially at Loughborough University before travelling to Saudi Arabia.
The former two-time heavyweight champion aims to get back his WBA, WBO and IBF title from Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah on August 20.
“I would want one-on-one time so I would not be alongside Canelo,” Joshua said.
“That was one of the reasons we didn’t go down that route as well, I need that one-on-one time and he is committed to his fighter at the minute.
“He couldn’t come here and I am based in the UK, so we found someone who could and could work within the remit, alongside Angel when he is here or not.”
The switch from Sheffield to Loughborough has not felt too different for Joshua.
“I cycle to the gym from the hotel,” Joshua said. “Me and Rob (McCracken) would walk in and do skipping, shadow boxing, pads and the bag. He would obviously say things like ‘hands up’ or ‘slip there’.
“But Angel and Robert Garcia break things down more. I might get told ‘in this round, perfect that f------ jab. The goal in this round is to get that jab popping. The next goal is to tilt more when you throw the right hand’. It’s more tactical like that, so there is reasoning behind the method.
“It’s a lot to remember, it can be a bit brain fatiguing but nothing will fatigue me more than being in that ring and going through it for 12 rounds, for real, so I have to go through it.”
Joshua has already passed over a lot of the decision making to his coaching team.
“This time around, rather than taking control I learnt that what I want is not as important as what the coach wants,” he said. “The coach has to be able to work in an environment where he can teach me. I was willing to hand over the reins to guys and say ‘we need to work on x, y and z. But I want you guys to make the decisions’.
“I am a sponge, I will learn from anyone so I let them control the environment and, as long as it is a happy environment, I will get a good workout.
“I respect Garcia highly, that’s why his name was initially on the list, because of his name and credentials and experience. But I am happy with whatever my team decides.
“I can only get my confidence from my preparation and sparring. A coach can tell a fighter a million good things but if he doesn’t do them then it’s pointless.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.