By Sam Volz: In a surprise move, former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has chosen American trainer Robert Garcia to take over as his coach for his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk on July 23 in Saudi Arabia.
The 47-year-old Garcia has a lot of experience as a trainer, having coached Mikey Garcia, Nonito Donaire, Marcos Maidana, Kelly Pavlik, and many others.
Unfortunately, the 32-year-old Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) won’t have much time to make the needed improvements during the two months that he has to train with Robert Garcia before facing Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) on July 23rd in Saudi Arabia.
It’s believed that Robert will give Joshua a crash course on how to rough up the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk and impose his size on him.
That’s the only thing Joshua can do. After all, he can’t match up with Usyk in the boxing skills department because he’s nowhere near as talented.
It’s clear that Joshua is wholly desperate and can not afford to absorb another defeat without his career being finished.
Joshua to be trained by Robert Garcia
“Robert Garcia will train Anthony Joshua in England for the heavyweight title rematch vs. Oleksandr Usyk on July 23 in Saudi Arabia, and sources tell ESPN. Garcia, an ex-champ and trainer of the year, is revered for his game plans. Rob McCracken trained AJ since his pro debut,” said Mike Coppinger on Twitter.
“Love this move for AJ. Garcia will surely work with him to be the big man and use some roughhouse tactics.”
It’s fair to say that it will require a lot more than roughhouse tactics for Joshua to best Usyk in the rematch because he’s seen that strategy used against him countless times during his amateur & professional career.
Joe Joyce: Usyk will beat Joshua again
“Usyk already showed that he knows what to do going into the first round and he knew exactly what he was doing,” said Joe Joyce to Secondsout about Joshua’s loss last September to Oleksandr Usyk.
“He’ll know exactly what he needs to do again. He’s got the skillset advantage over him and experience,” Joyce continued about Usyk being too good for Joshua.
“It’s up to Joshua now to come back and get the win. I think Usyk will probably do the same thing again unless AJ can do what he was supposed to do in the first fight. He made the corrections for [Andy] Ruiz. Can he make the corrections for Usyk?
“I thought his performance against Usyk in the first fight was very clinical, and he was happy to get to the end of the fight.
“What he [Joshua] should have done the first time was to rough him up a bit, walk him down and try and land something big. I think he was a bit worried about what was coming back.
“In my fight against Usyk in the WSB, I put him through his paces. It wasn’t an easy victory for him,” said Joyce.