Robert Garcia, the new trainer for Anthony Joshua, was not in agreement with the implemented strategy for last September’s fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk outboxed Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Most observers felt Joshua made a huge mistake by trying to outbox a fighter who many regard as one of the best pure boxers in the sport.
A rematch is slated to take place on August 20th in Saudi Arabia.
Garcia agrees with the opinions of most observers and felt Joshua did not take advantage of his physical gifts.
“When you have somebody that’s a lot smaller than you and you have the weight, height, reach and power advantages then take advantage of that,” Garcia told IFL TV. “It seemed like they had a different game plan.
“I wouldn’t even want to say it was a ‘game plan’, maybe it was just the wrong instructions. Anthony is the type of fighter who listens to his corner so he did what he was told and it was totally wrong. But the way it looks now, he’s listening to us, we have our meetings with him and he’s happy that we’re working together, he’s hungry again and he’s told us personally that he wants to do it for himself, but for us too. He said ‘you are going to deserve this win and I want to do it for you’.
“That’s huge, that’s something coming from a fighter that very few think like. Most fighters think about themselves and, yeah, they love their trainers and, yeah, they want to win big fights together, but at the end it’s only about themselves. He told us this one is for us.”
Garcia replaced Joshua’s longtime trainer Robert McCracken.
When his hire was announced, not everyone was pleased with Joshua’s decision to bring in Garcia. There were some critics who felt Joshua needed a trainer who had more experience with working with heavyweights.
“People were saying ‘oh, he doesn’t train heavyweights’, or ‘he’s too small to do mitts with him’. My job is to come and guide and give good advice and come up with a good game plan, my size doesn’t mean I can’t tell a heavyweight how to fight and what he needs to do to win a fight,” Garcia said.
“I’ve done this many times before, the thing is that with me, it doesn’t have to be a super-heavyweight or welterweight or featherweight. I’ve been in the position where nobody believes my fighter is going to win and we go and upset the world champions.”