By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn has seen enough of trainer Robert Garcia’s work with Anthony Joshua to make him believe he’ll dethrone unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk by a 9th round knockout on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Hearn isn’t revealing what he specifically saw from Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) in his training with new coach Garcia, but it’s enough for him to feel confident that he’ll do a number on IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in their rematch.
If Robert’s game plan works and Joshua avenges his loss by knockout, he’ll be anointed by the boxing world as a great coach.
From there, you can bet that Robert will get a storm of top fighters wanting to be trained by him at his Oxnard, California gym. We’ve seen that kind of stuff happen with other trainers that had a famous fighter in their stable.
When that fight does well, other talented guys want to join the gym, believing that the coach is a great one.
On the other side of the coin, if Joshua loses to Usyk again, which would seem like the most likely outcome of their rematch on August 20th, Robert Garcia will probably be terminated and replaced with another coach.
Joshua, 32, is going to have to fight more aggressively and take chances in the rematch compared to how he fought against Usyk last September at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
AJ let Usyk get the upper hand against him by boxing and not using his size & power to crush the smaller man. However, when Joshua did land clean shots to the head, you could see that Usyk was bothered by the punches.
Unfortunately, there was never any follow-up on Joshua’s part, and he wasted the opportunities that he had in the fight.
“We’ve seen how Saudi has invested in grassroots boxing. Grassroots participation is up 300% since the [Andy] Ruiz fight,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show. “The mistake the golfers make that we’re not making, it’s a great deal.
“I don’t mind saying it, and when you have a fight that is a 50-50 split in revenue, you have to go to the place [that is paying that money]. There are thereabouts,” said Hearn when asked if this is Joshua’s biggest payday. “He’s had some good nights.
“I think Anthony Joshua stops Oleksandr Usyk inside nine rounds on August 20th. That’s not a popular opinion, but it’s my opinion belief in seeing the work that he’s been doing with Robert Garcia,” said Hearn in picking Joshua to dethrone IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk on August 20th.
If Joshua shoots for a knockout early on, he could get clipped and stopped by Usyk. AJ’s chin and stamina aren’t good enough for him to take a lot of hard shots and fight at a fast pace without him getting knocked out.