Anthony Joshua confirms changes to training staff

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Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will retain Rob McCracken as his lead trainer but will add additional staff to his coaching team ahead of his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.

Mexican-American Ruiz Jr shocked the world on June 1 when he stopped Joshua in seven rounds at Madison Square Garden after having the big Brit on the canvas four times during the fight.

The loss has prompted calls for Joshua to sack McCracken as coach but the former IBF, WBA and WBO champion is having none of it.

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“Rob McCracken is more to me than just a trainer,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “Rob McCracken is like a man who’s helped me as a person and I feel like he’s really going to take me on to be a better person in life.

“As a trainer, he’s taken me from a novice, to the Olympics, to world champion.

“I feel like there’s options; one, keep it as it is; two, add to what we already have; or three, get rid of Rob and completely change.

“I think number three’s silly. Number one, we’re already doing it now [and] number two, to add to what we have, I feel like it can only make us a better and stronger team.”

The date and venue for the Ruiz Jr versus Joshua are still being negotiated with the former champion favouring Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

But the reigning heavyweight boss has been vocal about his aversion to heading abroad to defend his unified championship.

Joshua said: “”I went there [New York] off my own back so for the rematch I would love it to be in Cardiff but it’s going to be on neutral ground; Ruiz is the champ so he will make some calls as well.

“In the Olympics I tried to block out the energy in the room but it was the worst thing because I was fighting a battle I couldn’t win.

“Walking out in Cardiff in front of 90,000 people screaming and rooting for you, that type of energy that goes through your body is unstoppable.”

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