Roy Jones Jr reveals talks with Anthony Joshua over trainer role but backs Derrick James to be ‘right man for the job’
Anthony Joshua did not get back to ring legend Roy Jones Jr over an offer to train him with the American backing his decision to link up with Derrick James.
The former heavyweight champion is making changes to his camp for the second time in a year following another defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last August.
Jones Jr, who is back training Chris Eubank Jr for his middleweight showdown against Liam Smith this weekend, invited Joshua to their gym in Brighton but instead the Briton returned to the US where he has been working with James.
The Texan counts some of the world’s finest boxers in his stable, including unified welterweight king Errol Spence Jr and undisputed super-welterweight champion Jermell Charlo.
While conversations where had about taking Joshua under his wing, the Briton appears to have settled on James as the man to lead him back to the summit of heavyweight boxing, with Jones Jr holding no hard feelings over the decision.
‘We had had a couple of conversations about him coming to Brighton to trial me with, to see if we had any chemistry but we did not get to that stage, he did not come to Brighton,’ Jones told Vegas Insider.
‘He went to the United States and met with Derrick James first before we had a chance to get together.
“I feel if you have the chemistry and the right connection there’s no point in going back and forth, trying out different trainers.
‘I texted him a message as I heard he’d been in America with James and just said maybe it’s good to stick with James if there’s chemistry as I do not want to make it harder for you to make a decision, going back and forth. He did not get back to me but I wish him all the best.’
Believing Joshua and James have developed a genuine chemistry working together, Jones Jr backs him to be the man who can make Joshua the force he once was.
‘Derrick James is a great trainer, he’s doing great things with Errol Spence, he’s achieving more than people ever thought he would, so I think James will be a great trainer, that’s why I told him if the chemistry is good he should stick with it,’ Jones said.
‘I think James is the right man for the job and can help Joshua with his confidence and his game.
‘The way that Spence fights with the pressure, I think he will be a great teacher for Joshua because he does need to learn how to apply the pressure, he’s most dangerous when he applies that pressure.
‘That’s why I think it will be the right fit. If I knew he was considering James in the beginning I would have told him straight away James will be a good fit.
‘There’s no disappointment on my side, I want him happy not me. If he’s found someone to be comfortable with, I’m happy for him. As for AJ training in the States and fighting in the UK, it can be done if you’re smart about it.’
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