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Anthony Joshua has taken ‘huge risk’ for Oleksandr Usyk rematch but AJ ‘excited’ for fight

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua is making a gamble as he changes his trainer, although he insists doing nothing is an even bigger risk. Joshua is preparing to face the Oleksandr Usyk again after he lost his WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF titles to the Ukrainian in north London back in September 2021.

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Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather oversaw an Anthony Joshua training session in the Middle East and even offered to help coach the Brit ahead of his world championship rematch with Usyk, pegged to go ahead in April.

Mayweather is one of many established figures to watch Joshua go through the motions in training as the former world champion has travelled around the United States in search of coaches to add to his team.

The 32-year-old has spent the last decade working under Rob McCracken at the GB Boxing headquarters in Sheffield.

Speaking about his potential coach change, Hearn said: “It’s a huge risk, but if you feel like you need a change and you can’t go on in a specific way any more, the alternative is much more risky.

“If AJ didn’t make any changes and wasn’t comfortable with his approach going into the rematch, I feel like we shouldn’t be taking that rematch.

“But the fact he’s been so proactive and positive, whatever route he goes down, I know he’ll be comfortable with that decision.
“I’m a lot more at ease than with the flip side, which is to leave it. He needs something fresh, he’s excited.

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“The key thing for him in this fight is being mentally comfortable with his preparation.”

Joshua is on holiday in Dubai but Hearn vows the Brit any time in the four months since losing his championships to Usyk.

It remains to be seen what role McCracken will have among Joshua’s team, and Hearn insists his coaching staff will be confirmed before the 32-year-old begins his camp at the end of this month.

“He’s in Dubai on holiday really, but he’s training all the time,” Hearn added.
“A lot of work has gone in over the last three to four weeks to make sure that process is being put in place.

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“We know where we’re heading from a training perspective, and the set-up for the next fight.

“It’s not like we’re just floating around, not really knowing what we’re doing.
“There have been conversations with Rob and AJ. AJ made it clear when he said he will be working with a new trainer.

“Will that be in conjunction with Rob? I think that’s to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Hearn was speaking as Matchroom revealed its schedule for February and March, including Josh Warrington’s clash with IBF featherweight king Kiko Martinez in Leeds on March 26.

The winner of Joshua-Usyk II is set to face the victor of Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte to crown the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

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