Boxing trainer Tony Sims believes Anthony Joshua should not have taken an immediate rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr as the Brit looks to reclaim his world titles.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist suffered a shock seventh-round knockout defeat against the Destroyer in June, where he was dropped four times at Madison Square Garden.
And Sims – who was Joshua’s first professional trainer until Rob McCracken became his full-time coach in December 2016 – has claimed he would have like AJ to have had one or two warm-up fights.
But Joshua immediately invoked his rematch clause against Ruiz Jr, with the pair scheduled to face each other in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Speaking to Seconds Out, Sims said: “AJ’s got to be really smart in this fight, you can’t be standing in the trenches with Ruiz, he’s got to be smart in this fight, box behind the jab, get his feet moving and all long range punching.
“He’s got to get his defence together as well, he’s got to be able to slip and ride them shots, there’s a lot of work for him to do before he gets in with Ruiz.”
Sims then claimed he would have liked Joshua to have prepares for Ruiz Jr how Tyson Fury is preparing for his eagerly-anticipated rematch against Deontay Wilder.
He added: “I would’ve rather seen him have a fight or two in the interim and worked on what he needs to do with Ruiz, get similar sort of opponents in.