Hearn: Joshua's sticking with James, not moving to Davison

Anthony Joshua remains committed to Derrick James, despite recently working with Ben Davison.

The heavyweight placed considerable faith in the Texas-based James to help him rebuild his career after successive defeats by Oleksandr Usyk – the second of which was overseen by Robert Garcia, under whose guidance he significantly improved.

Joshua had recruited Garcia after separating from the long-serving Rob McCracken, and under James – who he has worked under in the US after spending the vast majority of his career closer to home – he has defeated Jermaine Franklin via decision and Robert Helenius in seven rounds.

He wants to fight again in December, but his promoter Eddie Hearn is still preparing their next move. James’ reputation – Joshua appointing him preceded Ryan Garcia also doing so – has regardless been hampered by high-profile, one-sided defeats for Jermell Charlo and Errol Spence, but the American will again train Joshua if and when that move is confirmed.

“It doesn’t mean, at all, he’s leaving Derrick James and joining Ben Davison,” Hearn told ProBox TV. “He’s said, ‘I’m changing trainers; I’m doing this; I’m doing that’, not, ‘I’m leaving Derrick James and going to Ben Davison’. 

“While he’s in the UK he’s been training with Ben Davison, which Derrick James knows about. But he’s still with Derrick James and intends to go with Derrick James on this camp.

“They’re working very well together. It’s a big move to go out to America and train – he’s done that for two camps and he’s enjoyed himself out there. He’s out there at the minute.

“I don’t think Ben Davison has any relationship – is certainly not working anymore – with Tyson Fury. We’d have to make an AJ-Tyson Fury fight yet. In the future if they work together, could he give him insight into Tyson Fury? Yeah, absolutely. I’m not worried about Ben giving Tyson Fury insight into Anthony Joshua ‘cause I don’t think they’re that close.

“[Joshua] looked at who he could train with. He talks with Ben sometimes around fights – I think he respects his knowledge of the game and tactical knowledge. He’s fairly local as well – he trains in Essex; Joshua’s in Hertfordshire. They’ve spoken before around fights. 

“Should the time come when he fights Tyson Fury it’d be an interesting dynamic for sure, because you do want to work around people that know your opponent. Not necessarily as closely as that, but sometimes it can help. It’s definitely not for that reason, but interesting for sure.”

Tyson Fury, who worked under Davison for the controversial draw with Deontay Wilder and then victories over Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, on Saturday fights the mixed martial artist Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Joshua maintains he hopes to one day fight Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, but asked how much attention he expects Joshua to give Fury-Ngannou, Hearn responded: “Absolutely none at all. Absolutely none at all. 

“I mean, I guess like everyone he’ll maybe turn it on on Sunday and see what happened and have a little look. He won’t be buying it, I’m sure. I think everybody will just look out for the result. 

“As much of a mismatch as it is, there’s still curiosity of how Fury wins, and what he does. It’s not really his style to go out there and take him out in a round. I presume he’ll play with him, [and] Ngannou will gas, or he’ll just get chinned.”

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