Anthony Joshua had been told Robert Garcia might not be the right trainer to help him avenge his loss to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua will attempt to become one of the few three-time heavyweight champions in boxing history when he rematches Usyk on August 20 in Saudi Arabia. The Brit lost his titles to Usyk last September and the pair have been on a collision course ever since. Joshua parted ways with longtime trainer Robert McCracken after his loss to Usyk and after months of searching for a new coach, he partnered with Garcia.
Despite accomplished trainer Garcia coaching 14 fighters to world titles during their career, Joshua’s decision to partner with the coach has been questioned by ring legend Joe Calzaghe. When asked if Joshua made the right decision in picking Garcia, Calzaghe told Boxing Social : “I’m not sure, we have to wait and see at the end of the day. I think it was time for him to have a change so I think that’s the right idea, whether Garcia is the right guy.”
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“I think he needs to change things and when a fighter realises they need to change, that’s a step in the right direction. He knows he tactically needs to change against Usyk who is a very, very, good boxer. His amateur pedigree, boxing from a young age, he’s an excellent boxer and a big guy. I think if Joshua can make his strength pay more in this fight and use his punching power – it could be really interesting. Look, it’s gonna be a tough ask but it’ll be an exciting fight.”
Joshua has insisted he won’t change his fighting style under Garcia, only his gameplan to try and beat Usyk on the night. Garcia has never led a heavyweight to a world title during his time as a coach, with the 47-year-old admitting partnering with ‘AJ’ has filled a void he believed was missing.
“I’ve had champions in almost every weight division, but having the heavyweight champion of the world especially. I could have 100 world champions but if I don’t have a heavyweight then something is missing,” he told Little Giant Boxing. Heavyweight boxing is the main champion you want to have. It will be special, it will be something huge if I can prepare him to become champion of the world. It’s going to be special.”