‘It would be a bigger risk for AJ to carry on same old’: Anthony Joshua will have a new trainer for his next fight with Eddie Hearn admitting he needs to do ‘something fresh and different’ if he is to beat Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch
- Anthony Joshua still has his eyes set on a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk
- Time is running out for the fight to go ahead in April according to Eddie Hearn
- Joshua will have a new trainer for his next fight no matter who he faces
- Hearn says Joshua needs something ‘fresh and different’ if he is to beat Usyk
Anthony Joshua will have a new trainer for his next fight, whether or not that is an April rematch against Olexsandr Usyk for the cluster of heavyweight belts the Ukrainian maestro ripped from his grasp.
Tyson Fury will have a UK homecoming fight on March 26, whether or not that is a defence of his WBC championship against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte.
Joshua has not absolutely ruled out taking a £40 million fortune not to fight anybody and let Fury and Usyk get on immediately with finding out which of them will become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.
Anthony Joshua still has his eyes set on a rematch with Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk
Joshua will have a new trainer for his next fight whether it be against the Ukrainian or not
Whyte is still trying to negotiate a bigger pay day for a Fury fight than the mere 20 per cent share of the booty he would receive if that issue goes to a purse bid, which is now likely to be delayed beyond next Tuesday’s date in Mexico City originally set by the WBC.
The protracted legal wrangle between Whyte and the WBC which is locked into arbitration could throw a spanner into all those works in progress.
‘The heavyweight situation is still a mess,’ admits Eddie Hearn, who would hope to snatch the right to promote Fury-Whyte away from Frank Warren and Bob Arum by making a purse bid enormous enough to satisfy the London challenger no matter how small his percentage.
What Hearn does know for sure is that Joshua will have a new boss man in his corner next time out, with or without his long-time trainer Rob McCracken, who remains head coach to UK Olympic boxing, is still in his team.
Eddie Hearn says it would be a risk for Joshua to carry on with the ‘same old’ than to renew his camp
There’s no certainty whether Rob McCracken (left) will still be part of Joshua’s team
With Joshua still hurting from his humiliation by former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk,
Hearn says: ‘It would be a bigger risk for AJ just to carry on same old, same old than to renew his camp. He needs to change. To do something fresh and different if he is going to win the rematch. That fight, in Tottenham or Wembley, is still the likeliest outcome of all that’s going on.’
Hearn reveals that in addition to the sneak filming of Joshua working with leading American trainers in recent weeks ‘he has been trying out trainers here at home behind closed doors and the shape of what’s ahead will come with the announcement about his next fight in the next couple of weeks.’
He adds: ‘AJ is being very meticulous about everything so that he is ready to go into full-time camp at the end of this month or beginning of February.. That would put him on schedule for April in an open air stadium.’
Hearn then tried to pick his way through the heavyweight tangle by adding: ‘The first two times the subject of step-aside money was mentioned by me AJ looked like he wanted to kill me. He said no way. That he is set on the Uskyk rematch. The third time he said for sure no but if I thought it was big enough then let him know.
‘But there’s been no movement and we’re at the point where time has just about run out if he is to fight Usyk in April.
‘As for Dillian, his management and legal advisors are working relentlessly through a battle of attrition with the Fury fight to try to make sure he gets the financial reward he deserves after such a long wait for his world title shot.
Hearn is also keen to get Dillian Whyte a bigger purse for a potential bout with Tyson Fury
‘The arbitration is on-going despite the date set for purse bids, which looks like being delayed as negotiations for an agreed split are not nearing a conclusion. But Dillian is fast approaching the moment when he will have to decide that if he wants the Fury fight he will have to take the highest bid and I think our valuation of the fight would be high enough to satisfy him.
‘This does not impact AJ directly but will affect when and if he or Usyk would fight Fury and whether Tyson will take an alternative fight in March. Once that is settled we can all start pinning down dates and venues. And while we would prefer Joshua-Usyk 11 to be back in the UK there are big offers from other sites abroad.’
Meanwhile Hearn has confirmed that Josh Warrington is getting a surprise chance to become a two time world champion. Instead of a delayed dangerous rematch with Mauricio Lara, whose knock-out upset derailed his career, Warrington is to challenge IBF featherweight champion Kiko Martinez in Leeds on March 26. The Spanish veteran won that title by surprising a KO shock of his own against Kid Galahad.
As with all Hearn’s Matchroom fights now, this one and a batch of New Year shows will be televised in the UK on the DAZN streaming channels.