Barry McGuigan has advised Anthony Joshua to rest before coming back to the ring, and to makes change to his team in the process.
The former WBA featherweight world champion was talking in the aftermath of the London fighter’s latest defeat. Joshua, 32, was beaten in a rematch by Oleksandr Usyk at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia as he looked to become a three-time unified world champion.
In the lead up to the fight, ‘AJ’ made big changes to his team, including introducing Robert Garcia as a new trainer. Speaking to Boxing King Media, McGuigan believes the former WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO champion has more changes to make if he wants to thrive in the sport once more.
“Joshua just needs to take a bit of time out, let his head chill, get his team sorted out, get rid of the back-slappers and the arse-kissers –– and there are loads of those…
“Sack the whole God damn lot of them, take out half-a-dozen of the most important people in his team and that’s enough.
“He needs to go back to basics, he’s always been a power puncher, and he needs to just get on with it.”
McGuigan went on to throw some more advice Joshua’s way – highlighting the fighter’s aggression as a key component to success.
“Joshua has always been able to hit with power. He has had a confidence issue since the Ruiz fight [in June 2019 when he was stopped inside seven rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York], but he needs to get back in there and start sparring again with good quality opposition, pick a number of low-key opponents – even if you blow them away again – to give him a bit of confidence.
“But ultimately, he needs to be aggressive. Whether he fights Usyk or whether he fights Tyson Fury, he has to be aggressive.”
Joshua has been handed something of a lifeline from fellow Brit Tyson Fury, as he was offered a shot at the WBC heavyweight title before the end of the year. Team Joshua has accepted a 60-40 split from Fury but Frank Warren, the Queensberry head honcho, revealed recently that talks have been placed on hold following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.