Usyk vs AJ: Robert Garcia – The man Anthony Joshua turned to for his deadliest fight | Boxing News
On Saturday, there will be a new face in Anthony Joshua’s corner for his all-important rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
After coming back to win a modest point against the excellent Ukrainian player in September, Joshua decided to change. He reshuffled his coaching staff, leaving behind longtime coach Rob McCracken and bringing in Robert Garcia to join Angel Fernandez as co-coach.
Garcia is a seasoned coach. He is a world champion as a boxer and has personally coached world champions, including his brother Mikey Garcia, a multi-division title winner.
He believes that foundation makes him ideally placed to guide Joshua to a memorable victory over arch nemesis Usyk.
“I could go on with a list of fighters who have reached the end of their careers but then they come to me and I bring them back with good wins, good teamfights. Some even even became champions after everyone thought they were done. A perfect example is Abner Mares,” he said. Sports sky.
“People told me to forget it, I took on him and we won the world championship together.
“When [Marcos] Maidana came to me, he just lost to Devon Alexander, I believe his manager told me Maidana wants to retire but he still has a lot of things to do,” he added.
“We did our job but he also did what he wanted. He listened and when he felt hungry again, he paid attention and followed what he was told and the results were there. He had a great win over Adrien Broner and then those two fought against [Floyd] Mayweather. We wouldn’t have two if the first fight wasn’t so close. A lot of people thought we won. “
Joshua made an immediate rematch with Usyk and the stakes for this fight were high. The style of the performance will determine the future direction of his career.
Garcia despite maintaining Joshua’s chance in Saturday’s rematch was unjustly discredited.
“That’s what I love most about boxing, with a loss, the fans, the people, the media, they write you down. They don’t see that Anthony started boxing at the age of 18, attending. Olympics without many years of experience. , still won a gold medal. He was twice world heavyweight champion. You have a lousy performance, you lose and everyone knocks you out,” he say.
The task facing Garcia is one that he enjoys. “These are challenges that a coach loves, especially one who is still passionate about it,” he said.
“Not to take anything away from the ex-champs I’ve worked with or the fighters we’ve faced, like Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao but this event is special, especially for It’s a world heavyweight championship, not all coaches can say that.
“I’ve had great wins but this will be the best win of my coaching career,” he added. “Despite everything I’ve accomplished, this is probably going to be the biggest win. So I need it too, not just Anthony. Me and Angel Fernandez both want this. We want it badly. bad. We worked really hard to make it happen.”
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For that purpose, he pushed Joshua into the difficult camp. “I didn’t come to be friends with Anthony. I told him you might not like us and there were times when he wasn’t happy with us, but I don’t care. I want him to win the war. win,” Garcia said. “Sunday morning after the game, he will be happy with the result.
“I came to camp to be a trainer and got Anthony’s respect as a coach, but I didn’t want to be his friend either.
“I knew earlier in my coaching career not to be friends with my fighters. They know that I come to the gym to coach them, they do the work.
“We said to Anthony, it looks like you might not like us in training camp. We’ll push you to do everything we want you to do. There will be days where you complain about us and yeah, Where were those days? [he thinks,] ‘You don’t give me credit for what I do right.’ Well, that’s good because we want you to do more. But after the fight, you will like us. You will thank us. “
Garcia is happy with what he is seeing now. Joshua, he reports, is in the right mindset.
“I said to him, ‘Look, I think you’re going to be right at the right time. With the way the training has gone, the partners we’ve had and your thoughts.” Not only myself but all the people around him, they said [Joshua’s thinking,] ‘I know what I have to do, I know how hard I trained, I know what I did in the gym, I know I’m going to go out there and knock him out.’ That’s really the right mentality he needs to have,” his coach said.
“Go ahead for that positive vibe. Because the whole team has it. We’re on the same page. We talked about it with the team, told him nothing but positive things. Myself, Angel Fernandez, we are in the same position Trang.During the training camp we never disagreed about anything we worked together very well and the job was done. Now we just have to wait until Saturday.”
Joshua could be the underdog in Saturday’s showdown with Usyk. But Garcia is adamant that he has the potential to be the world’s best heavyweight.
“His skill, talent, strength, he has it. You see him boxing, you see him hitting gloves, you see him making heavy bags, you think he’s talented and smart. he’s the heaviest heavyweight out there. He’s wise about the best heavyweight talent out there. But you have to know that you want it in your head and your heart. That’s all that’s missing. I think. with that in the upcoming fight, he has all the tools to win,” Garcia said.
“Every time he talks about the fight, he’s very positive about himself and I believe that’s the main thing. He has to believe in himself. He has to know that he has everything it takes to beat. Usik.”
He knows the caliber of Joshua’s opponent. Usyk previously worked out at his gym in the US so Garcia got to see the Ukrainian firsthand.
“He’s very, very tough, very clumsy, smart inside the ring. He trained in my gym for a while when I was at Oxnard so I’ve seen his training. He He trains hard. He’ll always be in great shape. He’s really a fun guy,” he said.
But Garcia noted, “We’ve got the weight, the height, the power, Anthony hits unbelievable hard and he has range too. needs to win and that’s all we trained. “
Garcia also has her opinion on what the winning method will be. “The only thing on his mind is that he will win by knockout,” he said.
“I know that [Joshua] can also win by decision, because if he controls the fight with his long punches with multiple stabs, even though we want him to assist him, but if he just uses With that reach and the distance with which he controls the fight, he could easily win a decision as well. [But] Can he beat him? I think so and that’s what we’re doing.
“We will push him to go into the knockout round.”
Anthony Joshua’s massive heavyweight rematch with Oleksandr Usyk takes place on Saturday, August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 Tickets Now!