Dave Coldwell airs views on AJ behaviour, demeanour and comeback

Ringside 05/06/2019
Anthony Joshua Gumshield

📸 Ed Mulholland

Trainer Dave Coldwell made an appearance on Love Sport Radio recently to discuss the recent loss by Anthony Joshua.

Down four times, Joshua has been the topic of conversations around the world after strange behavior in losing to Andy Ruiz.

Here’s what Coldwell had to say:

On Joshua’s behaviour between rounds

It was a little bit strange but there are often times that conversations between coach and fighter for people on the outside might seem abnormal,” Coldwell told Love Sport Radio.

“He might just be the type of fighter to ask questions between rounds. Also you’ve got to remember he might be concussed; if you’re suffering from a concussion, and a lot of fighters don’t see the shots coming or have any recollection of what shot they got hit with, he might be asking the question so that he doesn’t get hit with it again.

On whether or not there were issues with Joshua

I’ll be honest, when he walked out to the ring, I thought he was different. When he was in the ring, during the introductions, he never moved. He was blocked into the corner leaning back into the corner post. Someone was massaging his head which I found a little bit strange. There was no movement or expression on his face, it just seemed weird. It might be nothing, but in terms of fights I have seen him in before, he just looked different.

On whether or not Joshua believed his own hype

There’s always a chance but I don’t believe that. When he goes on holiday he’s in training, he’s always keeping himself in shape, so I don’t see it as a conscious decision that he’s made, maybe subconsciously with all the upheaval… I’ve taken fighters out to America, it’s different, there are things that go off that can throw you, I’ve seen how the commissions work, I’ve been in Chicago and the commission was a joke, I’ve been in New York and it was a bit of a pain, so things like that can throw you off. It’s alright making excuses for him, but ultimately on the night when things started to go wrong he kept making the same mistakes and that’s ultimately what cost him, and you can’t take anything away from Ruiz he’s a good fighter.

We said before the fight that just because he looks terrible doesn’t mean he can’t fight, he’s got very very good hands and he puts his shots together, and if you’re in that range he lets his hands go fast and viciously. What Joshua kept doing is when he had a bit of success with a jab or a hook that knocked his head back, he would then go into that range and get caught and he kept making the same mistakes. But ultimately, when you get hit on the top of the head by a 19-stone man, I don’t care who you are or how good your chin is or anything, it messes your equilibrium up, and if you’re slightly concussed you’re confused, and if you’re confused you’re not going to go out there and perform to the best of your ability. That’s boxing, this is heavyweight boxing and anybody can be taken out by anybody.

On whether or not he would allow his fighters to go vegan

I would like to know why. But listen, he has experts and nutritionists looking after him, you look at the setup at Team GB, I imagine that it was looked into and everything was done right and correctly, but sometimes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Sometimes fighters in pursuit of trying to be perfect change a winning formula. I don’t know if that had any effect on him, but ultimately, the bell went, Joshua was easing into the fight, caught him with a beautiful uppercut hook, but he rushed straight in, and straight into a trap, and he never recovered from it.

If Ruiz hadn’t got up from that hook, nobody would be talking about this. He made the mistake of not being calm and cool, he’s not shown the patience but that will come with experience. If he’s the fighter we expect him to be and assume he is he’ll learn from this, this is a thing fighters have to experience. Unfortunately sometimes you don’t get the win when you’re learning on the job. He walked straight into the same exact trap every time, Ruiz every time Joshua threw was looking to catch-counter, block-counter, and he walked into shots again that rattled him, and if you’re still concussed from the first knockdown, you’re not gonna absorb those shots as well.


People are making a big deal, saying he’s finished and writing off his achievements in the past, remember Wladimir Klitschko.

You don’t have to go too far back, look when he fought Ross Puritty. Puritty was a journeyman but he was gassed, absolutely gone, got wrecked, he was done.

“Then he fought Corey Sanders, the same thing, he got wiped out, then he though Lemar Brewster, wiped out. He’s come back from serious adversity where we all wrote him off. I remember seeing him on the front cover of Boxing News, just like the photos of AJ, but look what he did, he regrouped, he learned from it and he came back.

“The problem is, once people see a weakness in you they think it’s over, but the best fighters, even though they have a vulnerability about them, they learn and developed a technique and a style and they start taking their weakness away from the opponent, and if AJ can do that, he comes back and there’s nothing to say he can’t go onto be the great fighter we were hoping he was going to be.