Anthony Joshua has already worked with now trainer Robert Garcia on two different occasions during secret UK training sessions. Joshua, who has replaced long-time trainer Robert McCracken with Garcia ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, made the decision due to the American’s relationship with one of his team members.
“Angel liked what Garcia had to offer; there is experience and there are similarities. And ever since, them two have just been chopping it up. So in his absence, Angel has been sending Garcia footage, sparring between AJ, Richard [Riakporhe] – all of his fighters.”
Joshua went on a tour of US gyms in search of a new trainer last year after losing his WBA ‘super’, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles to Usyk in September. Among the trainers he visited were Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso, Ronnie Shields and Garcia, with the latter impressing him the most.
Garcia is widely considered to be one of the best trainers in the world and has produced 14 world champions including Marcos Maidana, Nonito Donaire, and his younger brother Mikey Garcia. AJ confirmed the appointment of Garcia this week and explained his reasoning for teaming up with the American.
Speaking to iFL TV, he said: “The main thing is a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter, I’m in a good place. Garcia’s actually here now, we are just working on a few things. It’s not about changing style as such. Garcia’s style might be crouch down, bob and weave but I’m a six-foot heavyweight,” Joshua said.
“It’s not about changing style, it’s about his experience and what he knows at championship level. Adding that to the camp is priceless in my opinion, but I’m in a good place.”
Joshua will face Usyk in their much-anticipated rematch on July 23 at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia. Joshua will be hoping to reclaim his belts in order to set up a potential undisputed unification bout with WBC champion Tyson Fury.