Robert Garcia has revealed that he almost didn’t go through with training Anthony Joshua for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
After being thoroughly outclassed by the Ukrainian in their first meeting, ‘AJ’ split with his longtime coach, Robert McCracken, for the contracted rematch and chance to win his unified heavyweight titles back.
He linked up with Garcia, who can be found in the corner of Jose Ramirez and Vergil Ortiz Jr amongst others, to guide him. Of course, he went on to lose that fight too, despite an improved performance.
After the fact, the trainer said that Usyk was mentally stronger than Joshua in the championship rounds, and that’s what won him the fight.
Joshua recently expressed distaste for Garcia’s comments to the media post-fight, saying it baffled him his trainer would be speaking about him in that way.
“I just felt like, Garcia kind of said a lot, which baffled me as well. But I’m not a little – what’s a word I can use on this show? – I’m not a little boy. I can take it, but at the same time – I can’t talk about you, and you not back yourself.
And it turns out there were tough conversations throughout their time together.
Garcia recently told iD Boxing News that he requested to leave ‘AJ’s training camp in the UK on the first week together, believing that there were too many voices in the gym that weren’t helping preperations.
“It wasn’t just frustration for him, but frustration for me. There was so many new people in camp. I don’t have to lie about things – the first week that I was there, I told his management team ‘I need to go home, fly me home cause I don’t wanna be here.’
There was people that, I believe, were not gonna be there to help out, so I told them I need to go home. They told me to wait, to hang in there. Then I had really good talks with everybody, and we solved everything. Everything went back to normal. That’s the way things happen.”
Since the split, Joshua has now linked up with Derrick James. Their trainer / fighter partnership will be on show for the first time against Jermaine Franklin on April 1.