Anthony Joshua appears to have been given an ultimatum by his new coach.
Joshua, who was dethroned by the Ukrainian 11 months ago when the pair met at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, was looking to win back the WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO titles.
But the 32-year-old came up short with his new coach, Robert Garcia, in his corner for the first time since he split with long-time mentor Robert McCracken in the wake of the first defeat at the hands of the silky southpaw.
And Garcia – who is working alongside Angel Fernandez at Loughborough University — has issued his newest charge with a stark warning if he is to continue in his new role.
Garcia wants ‘AJ’ (24-3, 22 KOs) to be the one travelling to fight camps after he flew to the UK and spent time away from his home to accommodate Joshua.
But he told Izquierdazo that wouldn’t be an option next time.
“I told Anthony and all his team that, for me, the best way to keep working together is if Anthony comes to train in my gym in California eight weeks before a fight.
“From six to eight weeks, that’s all I need for a good camp.
“I told Anthony, ‘I need you to be around more fighters, more champions. I want you to have more fighters for competition, even if they are from the same gym, but you have to compete.’”
Many felt that the fit of Garcia travelling to the UK to train the Olympic gold medallist was a bad move and, although he has lost to one of the best fighters in the world at the moment in his first fight with a new coach, it seems that those fears are being realised.
“That is what is missing in his gym, the fighters to be competing against each other, where they don’t want the other fighter to do more than you. He needs a place with other world champions around.
“Anthony has always been alone in his camps, he didn’t have other fighters to train with. He needs to be in a cheerful environment, to interact with other fighters, other sparring partners.
“I think that that would help him a lot.”
After his loss to 35-year-old Usyk, who is a former undisputed world champion at cruiserweight, Joshua hinted that he wanted a quick return to the ring as he looks to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.