Anthony Joshua fully endorses the services of his new, if only temporary, trainer.

The former heavyweight titlist from London surprisingly linked up with countryman Ben Davison ahead of his fight against Otto Wallin this Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The 27-year-old Davison has worked with notable talents in the sport over the past few years, including Tyson Fury, Devin Haney, and Josh Taylor. He is currently the head trainer of Pat McCormack and Leigh Wood.

News of Joshua and Davison linking up a few months ago caught boxing fans off guard because Joshua had only recently begun working with respected trainer Derrick James.

Joshua paired up with Dallas, Texas-based James following his second consecutive loss to Oleksandr Usyk in August of 2020. Under James, Joshua has since reeled off two consecutive victories, a unanimous decision over Jermaine Franklin in April and a seventh-round knockout of Robert Helenius in August.

Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Joshua, has said Joshua’s alliance with James is still intact and that the choice of Davison ahead of Saturday’s fight was a matter of scheduling and convenience.

And apparently ability as well.

“He’s good, he’s good,” Joshua said of Davison in an interview with BBC 5 Live Boxing. “Minus of what I do, I’d advise any up-and-coming athletes that want to progress to go with Ben. He’s a very good coach, in my opinion. For someone like me, someone who [goes], ‘Yeah, I’m alright I’m good wherever I go,’ I’m always searching for better ways to improve. I think Ben has definitely helped me a lot.”

Joshua said he appreciated the training atmosphere of Davison’s gym, as it is populated with ambitious up-and-coming boxers.

“I’m still hungry and searching for more, there at the bottom of the ladder, trying to get to the top,” Joshua said. “Being amongst those types of people, with that energy, is really good. They’re striving, trying to win, they’re working on their craft. I’m working in that gym, I want it as well. I feel good, I feel fresh and focused and I just want to win and we’re all in that same environment under that Ben Davison banner.”

Should Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) defeat Wallin, he could be headed for a long-awaited showdown with Deontay Wilder. That fight could reportedly happen in March, also in Riyadh.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.