Anthony Joshua shouldn’t fight Deontay Wilder right away says trainer Robert Garcia
By Charles Brun: Trainer Robert Garcia recommends that Anthony Joshua delay taking the fight with former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder until he’s gotten two to three confidence-level bouts under him before taking that big match-up.
Robert trained Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) for his rematch with IBF, WBA & WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk last August, and he regrets that AJ didn’t take a few tune-ups before that match.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is already talking about wanting him to face a top 20 level heavyweight next, followed by a rematch with Dillian Whyte.
Both of those fights will be tune-ups, and depending on how Joshua looks in those matches, Hearn will decide whether he’s ready to face the powerful Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs).
At this point, Joshua is badly in need of a victory, as he’s lost his last two fights and three out of his last five contests. You can’t blame Joshua for looking to face a bottom 20 guy and an over-the-hill 35-year-old Whyte because if AJ loses again, it would be time to pack it in and retire.
Joshua’s career is on life support right now, and he cannot absorb another defeat without sinking to the level of a Derek Chisora or Whyte.
Of course, it will also depend on how Wilder’s career is going. If he loses his next fight, that will change Joshua & Hearn’s plans on using him as an opponent for a mega-fight.
Unfortunately, Wilder’s punch resistance and stamina are poor enough to make him vulnerable against the top 10 contenders. Wilder could lose once or twice while he’s waiting for Joshua to get his confidence-builders against bottom feeders.
Unlike Joshua, Wilder will focus on fighting high-caliber opponents like Andy Ruiz Jr. and Usyk.
Wilder is coming off a spectacular first round knockout win over top-five ranked contender Robert Helenius on October 15th in Brooklyn, New York.
Joshua can’t afford another mental meltdown
“One thing that I told them [Team Joshua], and I tell them again now, is that I don’t recommend them to look for a big fight [such as Deontay Wilder] immediately,” said trainer Robert Garcia to Izquierdazo.
In terms of punch resistance, Joshua won’t be helped by delaying the Wilder fight until next year because he’s still going to have just as many problems taking his powerful shots then as he will now.
This isn’t a confidence issue with Joshua. He doesn’t possess the chin to take the kind of power that Wilder possesses.
“Anthony is a massive star in Europe, one of the biggest in history. He should look for two or three fights that are a little more adequate,” continued Robert about his advice that he stays away from Wilder. “I don’t want to say easy because there are no easy fights. He needs to regain his confidence.
“[Joshua] has the same punching power [as ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Deontaay]. It can’t be less strong than Wilder. So I think that whoever hits first [will win],” said Robert.
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