Former Mike Tyson trainer Ronnie Shields admits he’s surprised Anthony Joshua became heavyweight champion “without knowing certain things” to do in the ring.
As Joshua does the rounds on US soil looking for a new coach, he trained with Shields, Robert Garcia, and Canelo Alvarez coach Eddy Reynoso.
The British ex-world ruler aims to learn from a second career loss suffered against Oleksandr Usyk last month. The rematch is scheduled to go down in the spring.
Upon witnessing Joshua in action, Shields echoed what many people have been saying about AJ for years. Despite members of his team and at broadcasters Sky Sports, he was the greatest top division fighter since sliced bread.
“The first thing he told me when he came here, he told me ‘listen, I know people don’t think I’m a dog, I’m just a pure boxer, look I’m going to be a dog in this next fight.’ And that’s his words,” Shields told Tha Boxing Voice.
“He told me, ‘I’m going to be a dog in this fight [Usyk rematch]. I just need you to show me how to be the best dog that you can teach me to be’.
“That answered the question for me because my thing to him was ‘why did you box the whole time?; and he said he thought he could outbox him. That was the game plan.”
“I just pointed out some things that I thought he should have done that he didn’t do. There’s something I was showing him that he said, ‘man, I was never taught to do this [by anyone].’
“It surprises me that a guy who was the heavyweight champion of the world doesn’t know certain things,” added the respected coach.
MIKE TYSON COACH
It’s no secret that Joshua had flaws he needed to work on from the beginning. And that he was always going to run into trouble – even if he was being billed as the second coming of Joe Louis or Muhammad Ali by those around him.
A debate still runs that Joshua hasn’t even secured his place among the really legendary UK greats. That’s apparent despite two reigns as a world champion behind him.
Joshua could still be an amazing and dominant title-holder with the correct guidance and people around him to tell him where he goes wrong.
Perhaps like his predecessor Lennox Lewis. “The Pugilist Specialist” beat Mike Tyson with Shields in his corner and certainly is an all-time great.
Maybe Shields can provide that?