James: Joshua 'completely disconnected' from the world in Dallas

EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Joshua ‘completely disconnected’ from the world during his Dallas training camp – reveals coach Derrick James – and fully shut off from social media ahead of Saturday’s fight with Jermaine Franklin

  • Anthony Joshua will face off against American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday
  • His trainer Derrick James has revealed that he shut off entirely from social media
  • James exclusively spoke to Sportsmail during Wednesday’s press conference

Derrick James has said Anthony Joshua ‘completely disconnected’ from the world and avoided social media during his training camp in Dallas.

Joshua will return to the ring on Saturday evening to face Jermaine Franklin after losing to Oleksandr Usyk for a second time in August 2022 – having previously lost his WBA, WBO and IBF belts to the Ukrainian in September 2021.

There is a tremendous amount of pressure on AJ heading into the fight – with many calling for him to hang up his gloves if he is beaten by Franklin.

However, Joshua’s trainer is confident the 33-year-old can emerge victorious after disconnecting from the negativity online.

Joshua flew out to Texas to train under his new coach James after parting ways with Robert Garcia following his second successive loss to the Ukrainian.

Anthony Joshua (left) is set to face off against American Jermaine Franklin (right) on Saturday

Joshua’s trainer Derrick James revealed that the Brit ‘completely disconnected’ from the world during his training camp in Dallas – shutting himself off entirely from negativity on social media

Eddie Hearn described Joshua’s camp in Dallas as ‘humbling’ and insisted the ‘stripped back lifestyle’ would be the secret to his success.

James was inclined to agree and said Joshua’s decision to leave the UK and train in Dallas was ‘great’.

Speaking to Sportsmail at Wednesday’s press conference, James said: ‘He completely disconnected [from social media and the news].

‘He was in Dallas but he didn’t interact with the City at all. It was perfect for him. He did great.’

Speaking to Sportsmail earlier in the week, Hearn called Joshua’s camp ‘humbling’ and explained his travelling to Dallas was the best thing for him.

Hearn said: ‘This camp have been very different to his others. They are chalk and cheese. At the EIS [England Institute of Sport] he’s God really.

‘He’s an Olympic gold medalist and he’s changed the face of British boxing and they roll out the red carpet every day for him at training. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn described Joshua’s training camp in Dallas as ‘humbling’ – and insisted the ‘stripped back lifestyle’ would help the Brit prevail against Franklin on Saturday evening

‘He didn’t want that but it just became the way. This camp was very different. It was very humble house. He only had a couple of friends there and guys in camp.

‘Then he was just with Derrick James. One sole trainer. He was in a very humble gym. A very small gym. He was just 1-on-1 with last year’s trainer of the year.’

Meanwhile, James went on to speak about Joshua’s training camp, saying: ‘I think it’s been great.

‘Just the work ethic really has been great. I think that’s one of the key things. How hard we’ve been working in the gym. How hard we have been pushing in the gym.’

Joshua is looking to make a statement at the ‘Lions Den’ and record his first professional win since December 2020 when he beat Kubrat Pulev via TKO.

However, James has said he is not ‘bothered’ about a knockout. AJ’s coach said he was focused on getting the win and insisted he was not bothered about flooring Franklin.

Nevertheless, fans will be looking for something spectacular from Joshua this weekend.

The British boxer is looking to make his comeback after successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk

Joshua spoke about the pressure he is under during a press event on Monday.

He said: ‘It comes with the business and it comes with the territory, I know that.’

Joshua went on to say: ‘I know when I am retired, I am gonna be chilling. I’m gonna be thinking f**k everyone. I am done.

‘You lot put so much pressure on me so when I am done, the chains are going to be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life.’

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