Anthony Joshua had already made a lasting impression on Robert Garcia long before it was announced the two would be working together.
The British heavyweight has enlisted the services of the 47-year-old trainer to work alongside Angel Fernandez for Joshua’s rematch against Oleksandr Usyk.
Seven years ago, Garcia was in London working with Evgeny Gradovich for the Russian’s IBF Featherweight title defence against Lee Selby. On the same show at The O2 Arena Anthony Joshua was having his 13th professional fight against Kevin Johnson and the Olympic Gold Medallist impressed Garcia.
Recalling his observations to Little Giant Boxing Garcia said: “Gradovich fought in London and Joshua was just a beginner. He was a superstar coming out with the gold medal, but I didn’t know who he was. But when I seen him come to the weigh in, how he looked, the way he walked, the way he smiled, shook everybody’s hand, I didn’t know who he was, but I knew he was special. I’ve always been a big believer in him because he’s got so much talent.”
Joshua along with Tyson Fury, Usyk and Deontay Wilder are widely considered as the leading quartet of the heavyweight division who have separated themselves from the contender beneath them. Despite the two world title losses ‘AJ’ has suffered Garcia has always believed in the Brit’s abilities.
“A year or two years ago if you had asked me who is the most talented heavyweight, I’ve always said Anthony Joshua talent wise. Tyson Fury is a different beast, different monster. Usyk is very technical, difficult because he’s smarter, fast. Wilder, tremendous power. Everybody has their own unique qualities but if you’re talking about talent, I’d pick Anthony Joshua.”
“Another thing Anthony Joshua has is insane power. Oh my god he’s got great power. More than anyone else, I think. Wilder, I’ve never felt his power but from what I’ve seen he’s knocking fools out too. Wilder is one of those guys too that has one punch power, but Anthony Joshua also has it. Very, very strong.”
Garcia says his new student has all the attributes to regain his heavyweight titles and become a three-time champion if he follows the gameplan given to him.
“He’s got the reach, the power, the strength, size, everything’s in his favour. He needs to follow the gameplan,”
“If he’s focused 100%, if training camp goes well and he listens to me he will beat Usyk.”