Anthony Joshua hasn't always 'seen eye to eye' with Robert Garcia

Anthony Joshua and new trainer Robert Garcia ‘haven’t seen eye to eye’ and have had to ‘work through things’ in the build-up to Oleksandr Usyk rematch… after AJ admitted he let Angel Fernandez choose Rob McCracken’s replacement

  • Anthony Joshua will take on Oleksandr Usyk in an highly anticipated rematch
  • The two heavyweight boxers will go head-to-head on August 20 in Saudi Arabia  
  • AJ lost his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts under former coach Rob McCracken
  • So, Joshua decided part ways with McCracken and link-up with Robert Garcia
  • The pair have not always seen eye-to-eye in the build-up to Saturday’s fight 
  • However, Garcia has been helping AJ work on his confidence ahead of the bout  

Anthony Joshua has had his fair share of differences with Robert Garcia and the pair have not always seen ‘eye to eye’ in the build-up to Saturday’s box office bout with Oleksandr Usyk. 

Joshua is due to face Usyk for a second time this weekend after losing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts in an unanimous points decision at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in September last year. 

However, Joshua will take on the Ukrainian boxer with a new coach in his corner after parting ways with Rob McCracken – who helped guide him to an Olympic gold medal and become the unified heavyweight title holder of the world twice. 

British heavyweight Anthony Joshua has had his fair share of differences with Robert Garcia

Joshua lost his belts on an unanimous points decision in September last year while under the tutelage of his former long-term coach Rob McCracken. 

AJ immediately exercised his rematch clause in his contract and embarked on a Stateside tour to find himself a new coaching team following his humbling defeat. 

He sounded out Virgil Hunter, Ronnie Shields and Eddy Reynoso but decided to partner with Robert Garcia – who is a highly-decorated Mexican-American coach with a catalogue of world champions on his CV.

Speaking to Behind The Gloves about AJ’s relationship with Garcia, reporter Gareth A. Davies said: ‘I’ve heard they haven’t seen eye to eye the whole time. 

The pair have not always seen ‘eye to eye’ in the build-up to Saturday’s box office bout

AJ is set to face Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch on August 20 that will take place in Saudi Arabia

‘It’s a new relationship. In the second relationship, you’re working through things. That’s all really good news for me. They have been working on his confidence. Change the momentum from the first fight because it was the wrong game plan to try and box Usyk.

‘Be aggressive, be dirty, push him around, close down the space, let your hands go, but obviously with educated pressure. Usyk knows what Joshua is going to do. He’s going to let his hands go a bit more and be more physical with him.

‘He’s not going to stand off and try and jab him and close the space in that way. Usyk is up against a formidable Adonis, who has very heavy hands, a bigger, heavier, stronger man.

Joshua parted ways with McCracken (left) following his loss to Usyk in September last year

Joshua (R) has admitted it was Angel Fernandez (L) who made the final decision on his trainer

‘So, he’s preparing for that, and I think he’s wanting to maybe finishing the fight as well and fight fire with fire. He knows he’s got the tricky skills to do it. He needs to be strong in there.

‘Maybe he doesn’t want to go 12 rounds this time. I don’t buy he’s 20 kilos heavier, but he certainly looks thicker around the torso and stronger,’ said Davies about Usyk.’

The news of AJ’s difference with Garcia comes just days after Joshua admitted to giving coach Angel Fernandez the responsibility of picking his new trainer.

Davies also said that Joshua could retire from professional boxing if he loses the rematch scheduled to take place on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia. 

It was believed Joshua would retire from boxing if he lost to Usyk on Saturday evening 

However, Joshua has denied such reports and said it is up to him at the end of the day 

Davies said: ‘Well, he might [retire]. Johnny [Nelson] is fine saying that. He’s not saying that Joshua should retire. 

‘What he’s saying is if he’s knocked out by Usyk and outboxed again and can’t get anywhere in the fight. He might want time to psychically, mentally, and psychologically recover.

‘He might say, ‘I’ve reached my zenith, and maybe there isn’t anything bigger ahead for me. Johnny was only giving his view. Of course, he wants AJ to win. We all would love for AJ to win, but he was just being honest.’

However, Joshua has denied claims he could retire – saying: ‘It’s up to me at the end of the day, it’s not up to anyone else what I do with my career. I don’t have to do this. Why do I do it? It’s because it’s all I know. 

‘This is also my 12th consecutive world title fight. I’ve been in world title fights back to back 12 times. It happens – if you’re fighting people at world level, you’re meeting people of world-level quality. I’m not fighting people who are below par.’ 

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