Tyson Fury ‘absolutely wounded’ by Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk
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Ricky Hatton has urged Anthony Joshua not to split with coach Rob McCracken, despite the British heavyweight already looking for his new trainer. Last week, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn moved to quash rumours his client had disposed with the services of the 53-year-old, after ‘AJ’ was pictured in a number of American boxing gyms.
Joshua, 31, was left stunned last month when he was outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, losing his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight title belts in what was only the second professional defeat of his career.
He duly triggered a rematch clause with the unbeaten Ukrainian, with a second bout due to take place in spring 2022. It could prove to be a defining fight in Joshua’s career, and a failure to beat Usyk, 34, could end his hopes of ever having a much-talked about unification fight with Tyson Fury.
Speculation is rife that Joshua will have a new man in his corner when he bids for revenge over Usyk, having worked with former pro-boxer McCracken since he guided him to Olympic Gold in London 2012.
Now Hatton, 43, has encouraged his fellow Brit to ‘reinvent himself’, but by bringing in a coach to work alongside his current one, not instead of.
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“He’s been with Robert since day one, and though they and the set-up at Team GB have done a momentous job, he might just want to reinvent himself,” he told SportsMail.
“If he wanted my advice, why doesn’t Rob go to American with him and work together? Rob can describe to the coach AJ picks how he ticks, how he likes to operate.
“Let’s get it right, if he goes to a new coach, they’re starting from scratch. A coach has to know a fighter, what he prefers, what he doesn’t like. If Rob goes over with him, I think that’s the smartest move they could make.”
The former two-weight world champion should know what he’s talking about, now working as a trainer after ending his fight career in 2012 following a brutal defeat to Ukrainian fighter Vyacheslav Senchenko.
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Joshua has not commented on the speculation but ‘The Hitman’ did acknowledge the merits in working with the names he’s been publicly linked with, inclusing the likes of Virgil Hunter or Robert Garcia.
“They’re obviously good trainers,” he continued. “They’re proven in their achievements; as a coach myself, they’ve achieved what I’m aspiring to do.
“When I went with Floyd Mayweather Sr, he showed me a few little moves and bits to add to my game. It was all new and different, it raises your confidence and I think that’s what AJ needs.”
Eddy Reynoso and Ronnie Shields are the two other names to be widely linked to Joshua, whose professional record now stands at 24-2-0 following his defeat to Usyk.
The Ukrainian meanwhile, has plans beyond his rematch, publicly saying he’s targeting his own unification bout with Fury, 33.
‘The Gypsy King’ declared himself the best heavyweight fighter of his generation after his thrilling win against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas this month, but Usyk has argued that claim is void unless the WBO champion can prove he can beat him.
Usyk said Fury was the only one who thought himself to be “the king of kings.”
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