Anthony Joshua has revealed what it is like to train under new coach Robert Garcia.
The former unified heavyweight champion returns to the ring next weekend in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs), a two-time global ruler, meets Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch for the WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO titles at the Jeddah Superdome, with Sky Sports Box Office airing the return of last September’s clash, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, in the UK and Ireland after paying a staggering £23million for the rights.
And the 32-year-old, who still has designs on an undisputed showdown with WBC champion and fellow Brit Tyson Fury, will go into the fight with a new man in the corner, having split with long-time mentor Robert McCracken in the aftermath of his defeat to the Ukrainian 11 months ago.
When speaking to The Sun as he prepares for battle in the desert, Joshua said:
“He [McCracken] would obviously say things like ‘hands up’ or ‘slip there’. But Angel and Robert Garcia break things down more.
“Now I might get told ‘in this round, perfect that f****** jab. The goal in this round is to get that jab popping. The next goal is to tilt more when you throw the right hand’.”
Garcia was brought in to work alongside Angel Fernandez, who was already part of the training team when Joshua worked with McCracken, and the Brit mentioned some of the subtle differences between the pair’s coaching styles.
“It’s more tactical like that, so there is the reasoning behind the method.
“It’s a lot to remember, it can be a bit brain fatiguing but nothing will fatigue me more than being in that ring and going through it for 12 rounds, for real, so I have to go through it.”
Joshua admitted to nearly going with Eddy Reynoso, the man who works in the corner with undisputed super-middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, before choosing Garcia.
But it was one particular thing that ended up swaying his decision:
“I would want one-on-one time so I would not have been training alongside Canelo.
“That was one of the reasons we didn’t go down that route as well, I need that one-on-one time and he is committed to his fighter at the minute.
“He couldn’t come here and I am based in the UK, so we found someone who could and could work within the remit, alongside Angel when he is here or not. I don’t need the confidence.
“I respect Garcia highly, that’s why his name was initially on the list, because of his name and credentials and experience.
“But I am happy with whatever my team decides. I can only get my confidence from my preparation and sparring.
“A coach can tell a fighter a million good things but if he doesn’t do them then it’s pointless.”