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Hearn WORRIED about Anthony Joshua changing trainers for Usyk rematch

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn is worried that Anthony Joshua is taking a massive risk by choosing to change out his trainer Rob McCracken with only three months to go before his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in April.

Overall, though, Hearn says he’s glad that the former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) IS making a move to change trainers because he can’t leave things as they were going into such an important fight.

With that said, McCracken has become the fall guy for many boxing fans, a convenient figure to take the blame for Joshua’s failing inside the ring against Usyk last September.

Joshua wanted to prove to his doubters

Many believe that Joshua unwisely came up with the scheme to try and prove to the boxing world that he could outbox the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).

In other words, Joshua came up with the foolish game plan to build his shaky ego to prove to the fans that he’s NOT just a stiff bodybuilder that they see him as.

Anyone with any sense would have stopped the show and told Joshua to forget about the wacky idea of him, a slow, robotic fighter with poor stamina & a weak chin, trying to outbox the talented Ukrainian Usyk.

We don’t know if McCracken attempted to talk Joshua out of the idea of him trying to outbox Usyk last September at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in North London, England.

If McCracken didn’t, you could understand why. When you get a situation where there’s a vast disparity in wealth between a fighter and a trainer, it’s risky for the coach to say NO.

Was McCracken afraid to upset the MILLIONAIRE?

If it was Joshua that pushed the idea of trying to outbox Usyk, McCracken can’t be the one that takes the blame for that foolish plan.

I can only say that McCracken should have been willing to give Joshua the bad news during the fight that his plan wasn’t working because Usyk was making him look silly. Would Gilfoid have given Joshua the bad news that he had no chance of outboxing Usyk? Probably not.

Joshua seems like a real know-it-all at this point, and he would have likely had stubbornly resisted the change of plans, particularly with the game plan being his baby.

Again, you can understand why McCracken wouldn’t go against Joshua because why would he want to take that risk of upsetting a millionaire?

If you’ve ever been around a hugely wealthy person, they’re used to getting their way, and the people around them are generally blowing smoke up their backsides 24/7.

It takes a strong-willed person to be blunt with a millionaire, and those people generally don’t last long with them.

Hearn says Joshua is taking a HUGE risk

“It is a huge risk, but if you feel like you need a change and you can’t go on in a specific way anymore, the alternative is much more risky,” said Eddie Hearn to The Sun on Joshua, changing trainers before his April rematch with Usyk.

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

“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,” Hearn continued about Joshua.

“But the fact he’s been so proactive and positive, and 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,” said Hearn.

It probably won’t make a difference if Joshua fights more aggressively in the rematch with Usyk because he doesn’t have the chin or the stamina to carry out that plan.

If Joshua fights harder in the rematch, Usyk will have more opportunities to use his counter-punching ability to pick him apart and make him look sillier than last time. Moreover, with Joshua’s limited gas tank, he’s likely to be running on E by the third round and be at the mercy of Usyk’s sharp punches.

Matthew Hatton sad to see Joshua leaving McCracken

“With AJ, he has a good team around him with Eddie Hearn, 258. I’m sure they’ve sat down and had good discussions,” said Matthew Hatton to Boxing Social on the possibility of Joshua changing out trainer Rob McCracken.

“Loyalty is great in any sport, but in boxing, it’s you in the ring, and it’s you taking the shots. You’ve got to be selfish in boxing and do what’s right for you.

“Rob McCracken has done a great job with AJ, and it would be sad to see that great partnership breaking up if that does happen. But AJ has got to do what’s right for him,” said Hatton.

What’s really sad is that the replacement for McCracken likely won’t have any greater success as the captain of the Joshua ship.

Let’s face it, Joshua’s ship is taking on water fast and going down, and there’s not much that any new coach is going to be able to do to stop its descent into the abyss.

Joshua must be “ruthless” in Usyk rematch

Hatton agrees with the belief that the ONLY way Joshua has a shot at defeating Usyk in the rematch is for him to be “ruthless” in using his size.

Joshua didn’t do that last time with his decision to try and outbox the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, and the backfired on AJ with him losing badly.

Whether it was Joshua’s idea to try and box Usyk or his trainer McCraken’s is unknown. It’s generally believed that Joshua came up with the poorly thought out plan to box Usyk, and McCracken went along with it in a lockstep fashion rather than telling AJ to reconsider.

Either way, it was a dumb idea, and what made it all the worse was that Joshua didn’t make any adaption during the fight when it was clear after the first four rounds that he lacked the boxing skills to carry out his game plan.

During battles, the commanders of the troops made adjustments when things were going badly, and we didn’t see that from Joshua and McCracken.

“These fights coming up are going to define him, so he’s got to make the right move, and he’s got to do what he believes is right for him,” said Matthew Hatton when asked if Joshua needs to be more ruthless in the rematch with Usyk.

“We can over-complicate a very simple sport sometimes, and I do think a lot of new trainers without a lot of experience behind them do overcomplicate things.

“That’s obvious what he has to do. He’s got to be more ruthless; he’s got to be more aggressive because it’s the only way he can win the fight,” said Hatton on what Joshua should do for the second match against the three-belt heavyweight champion Usyk.

“That’s definitely the route that he’s got to go. They’ve got to get a game plan together of specific moves that will work, but he’s certainly got to be more dominant and aggressive and try and use that size.

“He’s got to do that because that’s the only way he can win the fight [with Oleksandr]. He’s not going to stand up and outbox him, as we saw last time,” said Hatton.




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