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Questions Over Joshua’s Coach Ahead of Usyk Rematch

Questions Over Joshua’s Coach Ahead of Usyk Rematch

by Bren GrayJuly 30, 2022

Following his loss to Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk last September, Anthony Joshua has been on the hunt for a new coach.

Parting ways with his titles also triggered Joshua to part ways with his then coach, Robert McCracken, despite having been with the trainer his entire professional career.

Now, Joshua has settled on a new partner to see him through the rematch with Usyk. Questions circle, however, as voices in the boxing world are already questioning whether Joshua has made the right decision.

Poor Tactics Lead to Sacking of McCracken

Ultimately, Joshua lost to Usyk because of poor strategy.

In many ways, the responsibility for this lies on McCracken, and his subsequent sacking is fair. For large chunks of the fight against Usyk in September last year, his corner was advising him to continue boxing the Ukrainian, and that he was ahead on points.

This was far from the truth, and led to Joshua losing in a unanimous decision. If he had his time again, there’s no doubt Joshua would have wanted advise that he was behind, and needed to use his size and power to gain an advantage over the physically inferior boxer.

Robert Garcia Gets the Call Up

Ex-professional boxer Robert Garcia has stepped up to fill the void that Robert McCracken’s sacking has left in Joshua’s camp.

Garcia’s boxing career stretched from 1992 to 2001, where he retired with a 34-3 record. He’s since moved into training other boxers, having twice won accolades for his work as a coach, being named Trainer of the Year by the Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2011 and 2012.

To date he has coached 14 boxers to world titles.

Public Scepticism of Decision to Involve Garcia

Boxing legend Joe Calzaghe has spoken publicly about his scepticism of Joshua’s decision to partner with Garcia.

“I’m not sure, we have to wait and see at the end of the day. I think it was time for him to have a change so I think that’s the right idea, whether Garcia is the right guy.”

Some of Calzaghe’s doubt likely comes from the fact that while Garcia has led many boxers to world titles, he’s never done so in the heavyweight division.

“I think he needs to change things and when a fighter realises they need to change, that’s a step in the right direction. He knows he tactically needs to change against Usyk who is a very, very, good boxer.”

Joshua has responded to the comments by emphasizing that he won’t be altering his fighting style through Garcia, only his tactics and strategy to beat Usyk during the fight.

Despite these changes, the Ukrainian is still a healthy favorite heading into the match. Bookies have Usyk at -195, an implied chance of 66% to win the fight. Joshua is down at +170, giving him an implied chance of just over a third.

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About The Author
Bren Gray