Anthony Joshua says Tyson Fury’s ex-trainer saw Otto Wallin weakness to exploit

Anthony Joshua believes Ben Davison can be the tactical key to ensuring he beats Otto Wallin and keeps alive his potential showdown with Deontay Wilder.

The British heavyweight star has teamed up with Tyson Fury’s former trainer for his clash with Swedish star Wallin this weekend in Saudi Arabia. Joshua, 34, made the surprise switch to Fury’s former cornerman but insists he will continue to work long-term with American coach Derrick James.

Davison worked with Fury for five fights and his last one was a hard-fought victory over Wallin in 2019 when the Gypsy King was left with a horror cut. But Joshua believes the Harlow-based trainer has helped give him the insight to beat former amateur foe and sparring partner Wallin.

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“So I was training with Ben Davison in the UK and this fight came up with seven weeks to go and it would have been crazy to pack up and go to the States,” said Joshua. "Derrick had Ryan Garcia too so I asked Ben and he said ‘you work hard, cool’. We’ve been using Ben’s Wallin experience from a tactics point-of-view, nothing to do with character.

“I have never asked “what was Fury like?” What was his preparation like? Ben has more respect than to talk about his former fighters like that. We have looked at how to defeat Wallin and we know, he has things he can exploit.

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Joshua insists all focus is on this weekend’s clash with Wallin despite the prospect of finally facing long-time rival Wilder on March 9. That’s the proposed date for an eye-watering big money clash between the pair should they both win this weekend, with former WBC heavyweight king Wilder taking on Joseph Parker on the same bill.

Joshua worked with James for his comeback wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius earlier this year after previously working with Robert Garcia for his second defeat by Oleksandr Usyk. The Watford warrior had previously left long-time coach Robert McCracken who guided him to Olympic glory and to winning the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

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But he insists he will be back with James when his next fight rolls round. “I was thinking the other day ‘it will be interesting to hear what Ben has to say about me’,” added Joshua. “Because some of my trainers have said that I am not dedicated and I don’t work hard. But I have been around enough coaches now and if you did a survey you would probably get more proper answers than people that are chatting s***.

"I think it has been really good with Ben, as it has been with Derrick. I have a great relationship with Derrick, he messaged me today actually but I have to stay focused, I am not on my phone as much, I am not replying to many people. Afterwards we will catch up and I am sure I will be back in Texas again working with him soon.”

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