As Anthony Joshua looks to make the ultimate comeback, the former two-time heavyweight champion may be ready for a change. He is at a point where he does not want to settle down.
Joshua last fought in August, losing to Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch for the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles. He was working with a new trainer, Robert Garcia, after ending a 10-year relationship with Rob McCracken, who helped him win Olympic gold in 2012 and pushed him to the top of the heavyweight division. Joshua left McCracken following his first loss to Usyk in September 2021.
Joshua lost the rematch via split decision. Usyk rallied late and outpointed Joshua, landing 170 shots (with 39 punches in the 10th round) to Joshua’s 124. The 170 shots landed were the most landed against Joshua by any opponent.
Garcia told Joshua that if they continued their relationship (per IZQUIERDAZO), then Joshua would need to come to his gym in California and train for eight weeks before a fight.
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“I told Anthony, ‘I need you to be around more fighters, more champions,'” Garcia said, via talkSPORT. “I want you to have more fighters for competition, even if they are from the same gym, but you have to compete. I told him, ‘You have to want to be better than them, and they will want to be better than you. It will work for all of you.'”
Would Joshua work with Garcia again? He entertained the idea but told The Sporting News’ Dom Farrell on Saturday that nothing was guaranteed.
“So I told Robert Garcia, ‘Thank you for asking.’ I respect him a lot. He’s a really good man, a really good trainer. Would I work with him again? Yeah, I would,” Joshua said in an interview at the Dmitry Bivol-Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez fight in Abu Dhabi. “But I said to Robert, and the team as well, (that) I want to be a free spirit. I locked myself down for 11 years with one coach, and now I just feel like I just want to learn as much as possible.
“Because, honestly, if you know me closely, what it is is, it’s not the trainer, it’s about the fighter, what he has up here (pointing to himself). I feel like I’m in a position where I’m able to work with anyone. So who knows what will happen next year?”
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Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn recently told The Sporting News that he is unsure whether Garcia will be Joshua’s trainer in moving ahead. It is unknown who would train him if Joshua decided to go another route.
As for what is next for Joshua, he wants to fight for gold again. He almost fought Tyson Fury for the WBC heavyweight title, but Fury’s demands and deadlines didn’t help negotiations. There are rumors he could end up facing former WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Joshua could also face Dillian Whyte in a rematch of their 2015 bout, which Joshua won via TKO.