Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua to work with Robert Garcia for Oleksandr Usyk rematch

Anthony Joshua to work with Robert Garcia for Oleksandr Usyk rematch

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 24-2 (22) has finally settled on a new coach ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk 19-0 (13) in the northern summer.

The 32-year-old Brit toured a series of American gyms last year auditioning potential future trainers. The move came after Joshua and his long-time trainer Robert McCracken were roundly criticised following Joshua unanimous decision loss to Ukrainian southpaw Usyk for failing to make adjustments in the fight.

Joshua weighed in almost 20-pounds heavier than Usyk for their WBA, WBO and IBF title fight at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in Tottenham, England in September last year. He also enjoyed a three-inch height and four-inch reach advantage over Usyk but failed to use his superior size to change the outcome of the fight, instead opting to box with the master boxer before going down on the cards 112-117, 113-115 and 112-116.

The fallout from the loss resulted in Joshua rebuilding his coaching staff. During his American tour he met with Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso and Ronnie Shields while trying to find the right trainer to work with. Eventually he settled on Robert Garcia.

ESPN is reporting that former IBF super featherweight champion Garcia will cross the pond to train Joshua in his native England. Although the date and venue for the Usyk-Joshua rematch is yet to be formally announced, it is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia on July 23.

Garcia is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the world. The 2011 Trainer of the Year joins assistant coach Angel Fernandez who was recently added to Joshua’s team.

It often takes a couple of training camps for new coaches to gel with their pupils but Joshua has no time to waste with the Usyk sequel less than two months away.

Joshua himself recently admitted his lack of a game plan for the first Usyk bout cost him the fight.

“If I’m honest with you, this is the first time in my career I’d say we are specifically working to a game plan,” Joshua said during a Q&A session with the Oxford Union.

“So it will all make sense after July 23. I’ve based a lot of my success on raw ability, with the right coaches, experienced coaches. But they probably knew I had ability. So, it’s just about neutering that ability. What tends to happen is, we overthink things too much when there isn’t a game plan.

“Because things don’t always go our way when it’s based on raw ability. So I believe when I start looking at social media now, you’re seeing so many different aspects of training and stuff. So raw ability wasn’t enough, so now I’m going to try out this new game plan training and see how it goes.”