Anthony Joshua has ended months of speculation about getting a new lead trainer, it seems, as ESPN are reporting that Robert Garcia will be the new chief second for AJ ahead of his planned July rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
The report also says that Rob McCracken, Joshua’s longtime lead trainer, is “no longer part of (the) team,” having been in Joshua’s corner for the gold medal at London 2012 and every fight as a professional.
After Joshua’s upset loss to Usyk last year at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, chatter about a new trainer kicked up pretty fast, aided by AJ going on sort of a U.S. tour and visiting with different trainers. After those reports spread, Joshua said then that McCracken would still be part of the team, but that appears — for now — to not be the case.
Garcia is, of course, a well-known and highly-respected trainer, and will be going to England to work with AJ, which is probably a good idea considering Garcia’s California gym is wildly crowded with fighters and Joshua will need his full attention if a partnership is going to prove fruitful.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KO) and Joshua (24-2, 22 KO) are tentatively planned to fight on July 23. Reports have been it will take place in the Middle East, and the most likely landing spot at the moment seems to be Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Has AJ made the right choice? Most felt he needed a new trainer, but is Garcia the right guy?