Working under Ben Davison has led to the promising Moses Itauma being “mentored” by Anthony Joshua.

The 19-year-old won his first fight under Davison when, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the undercard of Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk, he ruthlessly stopped Germany’s Ilja Mezencev in the second round.

Having also recently trained under the respected Alan Smith, Itauma recruited Davison to be his full-time trainer, and in so doing accessed the expertise of a figure who has prepared, for high-profile fights, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Fabio Wardley and more.

Davison oversaw Fury’s remarkable comeback from almost three years of inactivity and more recently helped revive Joshua’s decorated career when the former world champion was struggling for confidence and therefore to impress. 

He was also in Wardley’s corner for the occasion of Wardley’s fight for the British and Commonwealth titles against Frazer Clarke, perhaps making him the logical appointment for Itauma – widely considered Britain’s finest heavyweight hope.

Itauma is yet to spar with either Joshua or Wardley but he has already sought the experience of Joshua, considered by most observers the third best heavyweight in the world. Joshua also reached the pinnacle of the amateur boxing landscape before becoming a professional world champion, and it is that perspective that has contributed to Itauma, who is already 9-0, seeking his advice.

“I’ve only recently joined his team,” he said. “Being in camp with Joshua; being in with the likes of Pat and Luke [McCormack]; Jeamie Tshikeva. It’s all a blessing. It’s good. There’s a lot of experience in that gym.

“We’ve [me and Joshua] crossed paths a few times and I’ve asked him a few questions, just about life; about money; about experience. He’s gave me some heads up – I’m grateful. I’m grateful. 

“I guess I see him as a little bit of a mentor, because I do ask him a lot of questions. He is [generous with his time] – very. It was very surprising, that. Even before I turned pro, me and Joshua was talking for a good hour about whether I should turn pro or stay amateur. It was mad, because at the time he was the heavyweight champion of the world; for him to take an hour out of his day to talk to me, I was like, ‘Yeah – this guy’s humble’.

“[He also told me] ‘Get yourself a good lawyer, and invest your money into houses’. Tyson said the same thing, surprisingly.” 

Davison could yet be in Joshua’s corner in a potential fight with Fury over the course of the coming year.

“I tried out a few coaches, and he just tickled my fancy, so I was like, ‘Why not?’,” Itauma continued. “Everything’s calculated. Every inch; every move. Every muscle move – he already knows it, and he’s already telling you, ‘That’s what you gotta do’. Sometimes I ignore him to see if it works my own way and I kind of get punished for it. ‘Do you know what? I’ve put my trust in him.’ 

“I was sparring the other day, and Ben kept saying, ‘He keeps dipping down to his left’, and he goes, ‘Every time he dips down to the left, throw the uppercut’, and then he’ll learn. I said, ‘Isn’t it mad that in order for you to learn in this game you have to be knocked out?’ Maybe I haven’t been knocked out, but I felt a little budge.

“I never really looked at it [from the perspective of his experience with other heavyweights]. I went to a lot of trainers that never trained any heavyweights; I went in there purely with an open book to see what trainer’s better; who’s training would match my style the most, and obviously Ben was the man. 

“I didn’t know too much about [Mezencev] but Ben had done a lot of work. ‘He likes to dance about; he likes to be a bit silly.’”