If Anthony Joshua really found the new coach he’s been referring to for several months, he didn’t have to look too far.
The British sports star and former heavyweight champion casually informed reporters on Saturday night in London at the OVO Arena, Wembley for the Deji card against YouTuber Alex Wassabi that his main trainer at the moment is actually someone who has been a familiar face in his corner lately. years, Angel Fernandez.
The question of who Joshua would choose as head coach has been a source of intense speculation ever since Joshua gave up his WBA/WBO and IBF titles to Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk last September in their 12-round heavyweight championship bout. at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. in London.
“I’m working with Angel Fernandez right now,” Joshua told Behind the Gloves. “He’s been in my camp for three years, anyway. He has participated in the last three world championships.
When asked if Fernandez is now his “main” coach, Joshua replied: “Yeah, man.”
Still, it was not entirely clear if Joshua planned to put the relatively unknown and young Fernandez in charge of his training camp for the expected rematch against Usyk this summer. Joshua obviously struggled against the skilled Usyk in their first fight. After the loss, Joshua traveled to the United States, where he was seen training with a diverse group of top coaches, including Eddy Reynoso, Robert Garcia, Virgil Hunter and Ronnie Shields, which led to rumors that a reputable American coach will most likely serve as Joshua’s new coach.
Fernandez, who hails from Spain, first joined the team as an assistant to Joshua’s longtime head coach Rob McCracken shortly after Joshua’s upset loss to Andy Ruiz in June 2019. According to Boxing News, Fernandez was instrumental in preparing Joshua to successfully reclaim his titles. de Ruiz in the rematch that took place six months later in Saudi Arabia. Joshua didn’t say if McCracken would still be involved in some capacity.
One thing is clear: Fernandez, a protege of Cuban coaches Ismael Salas and Jorge Rubio, is apparently Team Joshua’s all-rounder.
“[Fernandez is the] full time, principal [trainer], [handles] video analysis, tactician, pad man, sparring guy, dietitian, S&C, cardio, you know what I’m trying to say? Joshua told Boxing Social.
Joshua, 32 (24-2, 22 KOs) triggered his rematch clause with Usyk, 35 (19-0, 13 KOs) last October. Their highly anticipated rematch, however, could be in jeopardy due to the fact that Usyk is currently back in Ukraine to help defend his country from its bloody conflict with Russia. Usyk said in a recent interview that he’s not thinking about boxing right now.