Home Boxing News Robert Garcia says Anthony Joshua fought the wrong fight against Oleksandr Usyk

Robert Garcia says Anthony Joshua fought the wrong fight against Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Anthony Joshua’s new trainer Robert Garcia believes the former unified heavyweight champion fought the wrong fight against Oleksandr Usyk.

Ukrainian southpaw Usyk 19-0 (13) widely outboxed Joshua 24-2 (22) at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in Tottenham, England last September to win by scores of 117-112, 115-113 and 116-112.

Joshua opted to box with a master boxer and it cost him his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles.

After the loss he sought out a new trainer and eventually settled on Robert Garcia.

The highly-regarded Californian takes over the reigns from former longtime trainer Robert McCracken.

He believes that Joshua was given bad instructions in the first fight against Usyk, something he plans to remedy in the rematch planned for the northern summer with a date and venue to be determined.

“When you have somebody that’s a lot smaller than you and you have the weight, height, reach and power advantages, then take advantage of that,” Garcia told iFL TV. “It seemed like they had a different game plan.

“I wouldn’t even want to say it was a ‘game plan’, maybe it was just the wrong instructions. Anthony is the type of fighter who listens to his corner so he did what he was told and it was totally wrong.

“But the way it looks now, he’s listening to us, we have our meetings with him and he’s happy that we’re working together, he’s hungry again and he’s told us personally that he wants to do it for himself, but for us too. He said ‘you are going to deserve this win and I want to do it for you’.

“That’s huge, that’s something coming from a fighter that very few think like. Most fighters think about themselves and, yeah, they love their trainers and, yeah, they want to win big fights together, but at the end it’s only about themselves. He told us this one is for us.”

Garcia typically trains smaller fighters, which led to criticism from some corners that he isn’t equipped to coach a heavyweight. But Garcia says the size doesn’t matter, it’s all about providing good advice and refining technique.

“People were saying ‘oh, he doesn’t train heavyweights’, or ‘he’s too small to do mitts with him’. My job is to come and guide and give good advice and come up with a good game plan, my size doesn’t mean I can’t tell a heavyweight how to fight and what he needs to do to win a fight,” Garcia said.

“I’ve done this many times before, the thing is that with me, it doesn’t have to be a super heavyweight or welterweight or featherweight. I’ve been in the position where nobody believes my fighter is going to win and we go and upset the world champions.”