Boxing

Can Roy Jones Fix Anthony Joshua?

|
Image for Can Roy Jones Fix Anthony Joshua?

It’s hard to argue that there ISN’T something broken when it comes to former three-belt world heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua.

Once hyped as boxing’s first billion dollar fighter and a legend in the making, the UK big man has hit a rough patch on the road to heavyweight legend status. With three losses in his last five contests and two consecutive defeats at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk, “AJ” has hit a dead end of sorts and has shifted trainers to help stop the downward spiral.

Following his first loss to Usyk in September of 2021, Joshua let longtime trainer Robert McCracken go and promoted assistant Angel Fernandez to head trainer. He also added veteran trainer Robert Garcia to his team.

Following the second loss to Usyk this past August, the big Brit is rumored to once again be looking to shake up his team.

Hall of Fame fighter Roy Jones feels that he might be the right man to reach Joshua. The four-division former world champ met with Joshua over the weekend in Abu Dhabi when both were in attendance for the light heavyweight title bout between Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto Ramirez

“I spoke to him at the fight last weekend,” Jones told SecondsOut.com. “And my opinion he still has everything necessary to become champ again. I’ll get him in the gym and look at him, assess his game, and I think he’ll be back to the top in six to eight months. I got a good long-term plan for him. If he agrees on a plan, which I haven’t told him, but I do have a plan for him, because I feel like you know in boxing I kind of know how to go for a guy most of the time.”

Jones will be in the UK to train his fighter Chris Eubank Jr. for a clash with Liam Smith this December and has plans to meet with Joshua for assessment.

“I kind of know the best route for him to take because I’ve been watching his whole career. I definitely have a good plan in mind for him. When he comes to see me in Brighton when I go train Chris, we’ll speak about it, I’ll assess him in the gym, then I’ll tell him what my plan is. If he likes the plan, we’ll get him the plan. If he don’t like the plan, then he’ll go find someone that suits him.”

Joshua’s state of mind has come into question following his most recent defeat, where he threw a bit of a temper tantrum in the ring, tossing two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring and making some odd comments on the house mic. Jones feels that time off will help the former champ’s mindset and facilitate a path to recovery.

“His mindset really don’t need correcting, but it’s a lot of way to nurture that mindset, and that’s what my point is,” Jones added. “The whole plan I got is really built on mindset. So it’s like I’m glad – I told him – I’m glad you’re not fighting again right away because I would like to see you change a few things, reset your mind first, then go back out.

“Because if you go back out with the same game that you had yourself and everybody knows what changed. Like when he fought Usyk. What changed? Nothing. We gotta change things to expect a different outcome. So if I can get him for four or five months, change a few things then it’s possible to get some different outcomes. That’s my plan.”

It’s up for debate whether Roy Jones is the answer to Joshua’s problems. It’s likely that, maybe, only Anthony Joshua can fix Anthony Joshua right now.

Share this article

Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com