30 March 2023

Anthony Joshua’s dedication impresses his new trainer ahead of Franklin fight

30 March 2023

Anthony Joshua’s dedication has been praised by his new trainer Derrick James ahead of Saturday’s comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin.

Joshua will begin his latest journey to redemption at the O2 Arena and has been told it is win at all costs after Oleksandr Usyk inflicted two painful defeats in recent world title fights.

This will be the first time since 2015 that no world heavyweight belt is on the line for a Joshua fight and his critics have been out in force during a difficult period for the former Olympic champion.

Robert Garcia, who trained Joshua for his second clash with Usyk, has been among the most vocal and described him as “mentally defeated” during the latter stages of his last fight in Saudi Arabia in addition to detailing he needed a “stricter” camp.

But new head coach James said: “I learned a lot about Anthony from his dedication and the fact he is always a student.

“He always wants more, wants more and wants more. I think this Saturday it will be a night that we show everything we’ve been working on.

“I think that Jermaine Franklin is a very tough fighter. For me, I don’t really care how we get it, I just care that we get it.

“I think that if it gets to a point where I can see it, then I’ll be like, ‘let’s go get it.’

“Initially, it’s just going in there and all about winning the fight regardless of how he wins. I don’t care about that. I just care that he comes out victorious.

“If I see the knockout, let’s go get him. If he’s ready to be taken, let’s take him I’ll tell him.”

Joshua spent the winter months at James’ World Class Boxing Gym in Dallas away from family and friends.

For me, I don’t really care how we get it, I just care that we get it.

The two-time world heavyweight champion returned to the UK on March 16 after weeks of intense sparring sessions and conditioning work.

It is hoped by Joshua and his team that it will be enough to give him the opportunity for a third run at the belts.

James, trainer of unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, added: “I’m happy to be here.

“This is my first fight as a heavyweight trainer, you’re coming over to the UK and everyone has been very receptive, very nice. It’s good.

“It is all about the focus. It is all about how he is focusing, how much he is dedicating and how much he is sacrificing to be here.

“He sacrificed a lot to leave the comfort of the UK to come to Dallas. Even in the winter, it was hot so you know you sacrifice and that’s what it’s all about.

“Everybody is working as hard and everybody is pushing but it’s all about what you’re willingly to give up to be successful because everybody is working hard, but everybody is not willing to give up something.

“He’s willing to give up something and we’ll see how that pays off.”

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