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Anthony Joshua opens up about changes to training camp and dealing with his first professional loss

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) has opened up about the changes he has made to his training camp ahead of his highly anticipated rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) in Saudi Arabia on December 7.

The former unified heavyweight champion lost his IBF, WBA and WBO championships to Ruiz Jr in June, prompting and overhaul of his team that saw the addition of pad-men Angel Hernandez and Joby Clayton along with a host of new sparring partners.

Longtime trainer Rob McCracken remains head coach.

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“It starts as a thought, then a vision, then it comes to reality,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.

“A lot of people reached out but it’s the ones who didn’t reach out that are here helping now. I sought after them – they weren’t reaching out to my saying ‘let me help’.

“I reached out and said: ‘I’ve watched and studied you for a long time and feel like you can help in this capacity’.”

Isaac Chamberlain, who is trained by Hernandez, added: “Angel is an amazing trainer – I am so happy and so proud of what he’s done.

“He does everything from the heart and those people will always win in the end. The cream will always rise.

“He stays true to himself and he stays true to the people around him. And you don’t really see that from many people in boxing.”

Joshua hinted at problems in his training camp for the firs Ruiz Jr fight, saying his sparring partners wanted “15 minutes of fame”, adding: “Everyone wants to be famous, rather than a good fighter.”

The 30-year-old Brit says he has come to terms with his first professional loss.

“No stress. In boxing there have been great, great men who have gone through their careers without taking a L but I’m not among those men,” he said.

“History teaches you how to [deal with it] and I’m blessed to have another opportunity.

“’Anthony, you’ve lost it, you’re not a fighter anymore’ – but I’m still here, the loss hasn’t affected me in that sense.

“I listen to YouTube motivational videos. I would always skip past the bits [about defeat]. But my ears are open to that now. You become smarter by not blocking it out because it doesn’t relate to you. I’m open to learning more.”

Meanwhile, Ruiz Jr has reflected on the impact trainer Manny Robles has had on his career.

“If I had Manny then, I would have won against Joseph Parker in New Zealand,” Ruiz Jr said about his lone career loss to the then-WBO heavyweight champion.

“The other trainers wouldn’t pressure me to throw a lot of punches, a lot of head movement. Now I have Manny by my side, it couldn’t have gone any better.”

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