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Anthony Joshua looking to rebuild his team following his second loss to Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua and trainer Robert Garcia. Photo credit: Getty Images

Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 24-3 (22) appears to be looking for a new trainer following back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13).

The 33-year-old Joshua split with long time trainer Rob McCracken following his first points loss to Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 35, in September last year. He replaced McCracken with renowned American coach Robert Garcia for the Usyk rematch in August and although the fight was closer, it still resulted in a split decision loss for the big Brit.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Joshua is again looking at changing up his coaching team, but whether that includes replacing Garcia remains to be seen.

“No, he is good. He is out in America at the moment working on his new team,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said to Behing the Gloves.

“He is getting that together and then we will get an opponent sorted and the date is pretty much locked in. It is pretty much sorted and we are looking forward to seeing him return.”

Last month Joshua hinted that changes are afoot.

“I said to Robert and the team as well, I want to be a free spirit,” Joshua said. “I locked myself down for 11 years with one coach and now I just feel like I just want to learn as much as possible. Because, honestly, if you know me closely, what it is is, it’s not the trainer, it’s about the fighter, what he has up here [in your head].

“I feel like I’m in a position where I’m able to work with anyone. So who knows what will happen next year? So, in terms of Robert Garcia, thank you for asking. I respect him a lot. He’s a really good man, a really good trainer. Would I work with him again? Yeah, I would.”

In the aftermath of the Usyk loss, Garcia was reportedly critical of Joshua.

“During that ninth round, in the corner [we] were telling ourselves we had the fight,” Garcia was quoted as saying.

“Oleksandr Usyk came back stronger. I’ve even thought in these last few days that it was Joshua who mentally defeated himself.

“Joshua was mentally defeated since round ten or 11. Round ten was a big one for Usyk. That changed the whole fight, and mentally we were defeated.”

But Garcia said he was misquoted in the interview, saying the meaning of his words were lost in translation.

“I spoke to a Spanish reporter that I know so I gave him a little interview, but from Spanish translated to English, they make it seem like, ‘Oh, Robert is talking shit’, pretty much,” Garcia said to ESNews.

“I wouldn’t say that about my fighters, man. I’ve never done it before and I never will. The headline is, Robert says Anthony mentally beat himself but I never said that.

“I said that Usyk after being hurt really bad in the ninth he came in the tenth like that never happened, he came strong which you’ve got to applaud that.

“So that’s not saying ‘oh, Anthony was beat mentally’. Usyk came back strong and dominated those three rounds.

“I said, ‘Look, Usyk being the winner, the champion and Anthony grabbing the belts that’s disrespecting the champion’.

“But Anthony was frustrated. Fuck he hates to lose. He came back and apologised and everything was good.”