Anthony Joshua will go into battle in Riyadh on Saturday night with (yet) another trainer in his corner – enter Ben Davison.
Joshua (26-3) faces dangerous Swede Otto Wallin (26-1) on a blockbusting ‘Day of Reckoning’ card which is shaping up to be one of the biggest in boxing history. Deontay Wilder is the co-feature against Joseph Parker, but they are just two of a string of major heavyweight showdowns.
Joshua knows that should he come out victorious on Saturday, and if Wilder overcomes Parker, a huge AJ vs Wilder superfight should finally happen on March 9.
With that in mind, no surprise maybe that Joshua plumped for Davison to be the new man in his corner, given it was Davison who trained Fury for his first meeting with Wilder back in late 2018.
Joshua has worked with both Robert Garcia (one fight) and Derrick James (two fights) since losing his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk back in September 2021. So what will Davison bring to the table?
Ben Davison and AJ
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn gave his take on one of the biggest questions of this huge fight week, when speaking to the Matchroom YouTube channel.
He explained: “Freshness, experience, gameplan. Ben’s a very, very good technician – him and his team study fights very, very well.
“I think that with AJ, I’ve always said that if he’s into the gameplan, if he believes in the gameplan, if he understands the gameplan, he executes it very well. You saw that in the Andy Ruiz rematch, and I think you’ll see it again on Saturday night.
“I think he’s in a great place, he’s been sparring very well. I think if he understands it – which Ben is very good at drilling into his fighters – I expect a great performance.”
Wallin will be no pushover on Saturday night – remember he took Fury to the brink in a brutal Las Vegas bloodbath back in 2019. Hearn would love an early finish, but he’s remaining realistic.
I think if he knocks him out, it will be a helluva statement. That would be three very solid wins, set up a massive 2024. But by any means necessary – if he gets past with a 12-round decision, fantastic.
“But if he can stop him, I think it will be a huge statement.”