ANTHONY JOSHUA should appoint Adam Booth as his next trainer if he is to rip his belts back from Oleksandr Usyk.
Watford’s 32-year-old heavyweight hero lost his WBA, IBF and WBO titles to the incredible Ukrainian in September and head trainer Rob McCracken has taken the flak for the gameplan.
AJ has since visited a handful of American gyms, meeting with potential replacements like Virgil Hunter, Ronnie Shields and Eddy Reynoso.
But ex-world champ Andy Lee – the mastermind behind putting cousin Tyson Fury together with Kronk trainer Sugarhill Steward – has recommended his own former coach far closer to home.
Booth, 52, guided David Haye throughout his early glory days, as well as Lee and George Groves.
And the much-respected Irishman told IFL: “I saw an interview Anthony Joshua did with you and he said he respected my opinion, which I really appreciated.
“Without sounding arrogant, Tyson and Sugarhill are together because of me, I could see that was the perfect relationship.
“And if Anthony Joshua rates me and wants to listen to anything then I think the best coach out there for Anthony Joshua is Adam Booth. For me, Adam Booth is the best trainer in the country.”
Lee has total respect for Team GB mentor McCracken and does not believe he needs to be replaced.
But he hopes Surrey-based Booth – who also worked wonders with Ryan Burnett before the world champion had to retire prematurely through injury – is at least considered for the possible position.
But Lee has warned that Booth – nicknamed the Dark Lord among some of his former fighters – runs a cult-like team and AJ’s entourage could be a casualty.
Lee added: “Nobody has an understanding of the game like Adam Booth. Nobody knows what it takes to improve a fighter like Adam Booth.
“But I think it would come with a few conditions, like when it is time for the training the only person who walks through that gym door is Anthony Joshua.
“They lock the door behind them and they get to work and every day is like that. Adam has already told me a few things he has seen, just over a few text messages, about how he would improve Joshua.
“Rob McCracken is a great coach and he does not need replacing, in my eyes, but if he is then I think he should at least touch base with Adam and explore that avenue.”
Lee has been Fury’s assistant trainer since he joined up with Detroit-based Hill in 2019 and he trains New Zealand’s former heavyweight world champ Joseph Parker.
But he rates Booth so highly that the modest Limerick idol thinks it’s funny he gets appointed ahead of his former mentor.
He said: “I still think Adam Booth is the best coach in England and it’s insane that I get coaching jobs when Adam is still out there.
“If Anthony teams up with Adam then he becomes a weapon, look what David Haye used to do, he beat Nikolai Valuez, John Ruiz, Monte Barrett and challenged a prime Wladimir Klitschko when he was the finest heavyweight of his era.
“If you follow Adam Booth – and he is a bit like a cult leader – if you join his cult then the results speak for themselves.
“I am sure they know each other, they just need to pick up the phone, it is a partnership that would get me very excited.”