Anthony Joshua Gives Robert Garcia the Nod as New Trainer Ahead of Usyk Rematch
Last October, 3Kings Boxing reported that dethroned heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-2, 22 KO’s) was on the hunt for a new trainer. Joshua was fresh off his second professional loss, which came at the hands of unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, and he was looking for new wrinkles to add to his game. That search brought the UK bruiser to the US where he was known to have met with Robert Garcia, Vergil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso and Ronnie Shields.
After the very public trip, nothing much was said about the results when he left. According to ESPN, Garcia won the AJ sweepstakes behind closed doors. Garcia is himself a former world champion and very experienced chief second who was voted as trainer of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2012. To date, Garcia has trained notable boxers such as: Mia St. John, Fernando Vargas, Brandon Rios, Kelly Pavlik, Victor Ortiz, Antonio Margarito, Abner Mares, Marcos Maidana, his own brother Mikey Garcia and Nonito Donaire among many others.
On the outside looking in, this pairing does seem to make logical sense. Joshua has always come across as an even keeled fighter who doesn’t like to fly off the handle, emotionally speaking. Therefore, the laid-back, no-nonsense demeanor of Garcia will likely gel well with AJ’s personality.
Another item to consider is what will happen to Joshua’s long-time trainer Robert McCracken. When AJ was making his US tour, he made a point to say that he wanted to retain McCracken. He simply required a fresh perspective in the lab. Now we will have to see if Joshua remains true to that sentiment or ultimately gives McCracken his walking papers. Time will tell.
Traditionally though, it generally takes a number of fights for a new boxer and trainer to really show the fruits of their labor in the squared-circle. So, it will be interesting to see how much improvement that Garcia can instill in Joshua for his Usyk rematch. Regardless of how he performs though, 3Kings Boxing will be on the scene to report the news.
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By: Bakari Simpson