Former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is set to link up with the former trainer of Tyson Fury in the form of Ben Davison.
An announcement is due imminently that Joshua (26-3, 23KOs) will travel to Saudi Arabia and face long-time heavyweight contender Otto Wallin on the 23rd of December in Rhyiad. The card will feature heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder. It will also feature the likes of WBA world light-heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol, Daniel Dubois and Filip Hrgovic, amongst other speculated names.
According to reporting from Chris McKenna of the Daily Star, Joshua is set to link up with Davison in an apparent one-fight arrangement. The temporary switch has the apparent approval of Derrick James, who has led Joshua’s corner for his previous two fights since the pair linked up at the turn of the year. Joshua also plans to continue working alongside James in the future.
Davison was a pivotal figure in Tyson Fury’s return to the ring following his long-term issues in regards to mental health and excess weight, leading the camp of Fury for five fights. Davison was the lead voice in Fury’s fights against Deontay Wilder (December 2018) and Otto Wallin (September 2019).
Davison was also the lead trainer when Billy Joe Saunders attempted to unify the super-middleweight world titles against Canelo Alvarez, succumbing to a stoppage defeat in May 2021.
The promoter of Joshua, Eddie Hearn, approved of the temporary switch to Davison when speaking to Boxing Social this past weekend. Davison is the current trainer of two-time featherweight world champion Leigh Wood, who is also signed to Hearn and his Matchroom promotional stable.
“AJ is with Derrick James, 100 percent. But Ben is a fantastic coach, and I think that has the kind of mind that AJ would tick with,” Hearn told Boxing Social.
“AJ is the kind of guy who doesn’t like to be out of camp for too long, and there is a chance he fights in December. So if that’s the case, he wanted these couple of weeks just to sharpen his tools before he heads into camp in Dallas with Derrick.”
Joshua is no stranger to trainer switches in recent times. Robert McCracken trained the former Olympic champion since his professional debut in 2013. Joshua would make the first trainer switch of his career, leaving McCraken to link up with Robert Gracia following Joshua’s defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021.
Joshua would lose the August 2022 rematch with Usyk, failing to recapture the unified heavyweight world titles in which he lost Usyk in 2021.
Joshua, in 2023, would return to action under the guidance of Derrick James, winning two fights under the Americans’ tutelage.