Anthony Joshua on Tyson Fury's decision to hire a new trainer: 'As a fighter it doesn't matter about anybody else'

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'Usyk is no problem' - AJ hosted the JD Comes Alive Christmas party

Anthony Joshua has backed Tyson Fury's decision to replace his trainer, saying his rival must "trust his instinct".

Joshua "stuck to his guns" with his faith in his own trainer, Rob McCracken, but Fury opted to split with Ben Davison, who led him through his draw against Deontay Wilder, and hire Sugarhill Steward as he builds towards a second fight with the WBC champion.

Joshua chose to stay with McCracken after losing to Andy Ruiz Jr and was vindicated after winning the rematch.

But reacting to Fury's decision, Joshua exclusively told Sky Sports: "Fury has to do what is right for him. Tyson's success is Ben's success.

"If Fury feels like this is right for him, he has to trust his instinct and follow it because it will only be him that [gets in the ring].

"I have to trust my instincts. I was watching a Lennox Lewis fight - he had Emanuel Steward in his corner but they still only announce 'Lennox Lewis'. They don't mention the team.

"Tyson Fury has to do what's right for Tyson Fury because it's only his name that is mentioned when announced as the winner or the loser.

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"As a fighter, first and foremost, it doesn't matter about anyone else."

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Who next for AJ?

Joshua insists he never considered replacing McCracken, his long-serving trainer, after losing his world heavyweight titles to Ruiz Jr earlier this year. They instead added extra coaches and new sparring partners to their preparation for the second fight.

Asked about the criticism of McCracken, Joshua said: "It was from a healthy place. The following we've created comes from people who have criticised and people who support. There are two sides to the coin.

"I stuck to my guns, didn't listen, and stayed with Rob. We spoke to alternative coaches. When me and Rob are doing pads we need eyes on the outside to say 'your left hand is down' or 'your chin is up'.

"We created a team which worked really well. In a short space of time he corrected mistakes.

"He has seen me grow. I had a son - it was a scary time because I was young, but he helped me through it. He backed me, and I've backed him. We have supported each other."

McCracken's reaction to winning the rematch was typically low-key when the rest of Joshua's team began their celebrations inside the ring.

Joshua insisted that was typical of him: "I sent a picture to my boys - Rob was at the Team GB Christmas party, in the background with a cup of tea and biscuits. He's happy like that.

"His personality rubs off on me because I've spent a lot of time with him for a number of years. He helps me not get ahead of myself.

"When Andy won, he enjoyed his success. He may have enjoyed it too much. When I won? A little smile, like Rob, then get back to work. That's the element of a coach - it's not just about teaching you to throw punches, it's about teaching you how to deal with what life throws at you.

"Rob has taught me a lot, as a man."

Joshua vs Ruiz

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Joshua reflects on both his fights with Ruiz Jr

Joshua, earlier this week, teased that he would willingly spar Fury to prepare him for his rematch with Wilder.

"I think Tyson Fury would fight me quicker than Wilder would," Joshua said. "If that's the case, I want Fury to win, because I just want to fight."

Fury responded via social media: "When I beat Wilder, I will fight you AJ, no problem.

"I would love to have you in camp, really really love to have in camp work out for this fight and give Deontay Wilder a proper beating. I hope you mean it, because I'd love to have you in training camp with me."

Fury's new trainer, Sugarhill Steward, the nephew of legendary Emanuel Steward, told Sky Sports: "He wanted a trainer who was technical.

"He wants to be very technical. We will work on his technique. These are the characteristics he was looking for when he called me, and I fit the description.

"It all happened so fast. Initially he spoke to me about coming into camp, then I heard Ben Davison is gone and I'm the head trainer."

Anthony Joshua was hosting the JD Comes Alive Christmas party.

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