Anthony Joshua reveals new trainer

The Taylor-Catterall decision and Anthony Joshua’s next move steals the headlines, writes George Gigney in his media review

Though the boxing news cycle continues to spin – with Canelo Alvarez’s next fight officially confirmed against Dmitry Bivol for May 7 and several developments at heavyweight – the stink from the Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall result still lingers. General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, Robert Smith, was interviewed by a wide range of outlets (including Boxing Newson the Opening Bell podcast) to cast some light on the situation. He insisted that there would be an investigation into the scorecards.

The Fight Disciples spoke to Smith and others who were directly involved with the fight. Catterall and his trainer, Jamie Moore, took part in separate interviews, as did promoter Ben Shalom. The main focus of these conversations – besides the overall shock of the result – was whether or not there is corruption within boxing. Your mileage may vary on the corruption theory, but it’s always a positive when media outlets hold those in control of the sport to account and attempt to affect change where it’s needed. For what it’s worth, Smith’s comments about Taylor-Catterall in all of the interviews he gave were underwhelming. He still views it as a “very close fight” and went so far as to shoot down the opinions of fans who, he claimed, might have been distracted while watching the fight. He made the argument that the judges were at ringside, focusing only on the fight, marking them out against any other observers. This ignores the view of covering the fight at ringside, none of whom scored the fight for Taylor.

It’s led to the likes of Tyson Fury and promoter Frank Warren going on record to state they want no British judges to officiate Fury’s upcoming fight with Dillian Whyte.

At the official press conference to launch the promotion for that contest, Fury had to fly solo as Whyte chose not to attend. This act itself has divided fans and experts alike, with some claiming it’s a masterstroke from Whyte and that he’s now under Fury’s skin while others have belittled him for not keeping up his end of the promotional bargain.

In reality, if Whyte wasn’t contractually obliged to attend, it was his prerogative whether or not to go. He appears to be training in Portugal at the moment, so maybe just didn’t fancy the trip to and from London.

His media silence about the fight won’t be bothering Fury in the slightest and it doesn’t appear to be affecting interest; 85,000 tickets were sold in under three hours, with a view to roughly 100,000 being sold in total should permission by Wembley Stadium be granted.

And yes, a lot of tickets are now on the secondary market – this isn’t a problem exclusive to this event, it isn’t even exclusive to boxing. Every major event in the UK gets tickets scooped up by touts and resold at an inflated price. It’s a wider issue that desperately needs sorting.

Anthony Joshua, while backstage at some sort of YouTuber boxing event, spoke with the likes of Boxing Social, IF and Behind the Gloves about his next steps.

Bizarrely, when pressed by Andi Purewal of Boxing Social to comment on Oleksandr Usyk, the Klitschko brothers and Vasiliy Lomachenko returning to their home country of Ukraine to fight against Vladimir Putin’s invasion, Joshua flat out refused to comment.

This is in contrast to Fury who, at the press conference mentioned above, praised those fighters for their actions and insisted he would do the same for England.

In fairness, Joshua did elaborate a little more in other interviews, stating that he would rather not comment on Usyk’s decision to defend his country because he respects that it’s an issue far larger than boxing.

Aside from that, Joshua also claimed that Angel Fernandez – who has been a part of his training team for several years now – is now his head trainer. Admittedly it’s hard to tell whether or not this is actually the case – Joshua can be cagey at the best of times and didn’t seem wholly serious when talking about it.

Regardless, the saga over Joshua’s training situation has been a strange one. Promoter Eddie Hearn recently claimed there would be an “announcement” about it in a few weeks – since when we did care so much about who a fighter is training with?

This seems to speak to an ongoing trend with Joshua in that people become hyper-fixated on his every move. His decisions, comments, even his mannerisms – there are sections of the boxing fan base who analyze this with a fine tooth comb.

While some of that can be put down to just coming with the territory of being a celebrity, there aren’t many other active fighters who get psycho-analysed by amateurs to such an extent.

It’s also been revealed by both Hearn and Joshua that ‘AJ’ may take an interim fight before his expected rematch with Usyk. This came after Usyk spoke with CNN, stating that boxing is far from his mind at the moment and he does not know when he will return to action.

That makes total sense; Usyk shouldn’t be expected to be thinking about boxing while he defends his country, and Joshua will want to stay active. Top of most fans’ lists for his opponent would be Deontay Wilder, though that seems unlikely to happen.

While the circumstances surrounding Usyk’s potential hiatus are horrific, the extra time will surely only be of benefit to Joshua. If he has reshaped his training team, he will now have more of an opportunity to gel with them. Crucially, he will have an extra training camp and fight to work on any issues that have arisen since the loss to Usyk.

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