ANTHONY JOSHUA’s new coach is the first to admit his man’s preparation is far from perfect.
No-nonsense Robert Garcia has replaced Team GB mastermind Robert McCracken for AJ’s must-see world heavyweight title rematch against Oleksandr Usyk tomorrow night.
American Garcia, a former world super featherweight champion, has been in the corner for 14 fighters picking up their own world titles.
And now he’s leading Joshua’s mission to Jeddah to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO straps he lost to Usyk.
One of the most positive signs is Garcia’s honest verdict that Loughborough training camp hasn’t always been straightforward.
Garcia, 47, said of AJ: “He enjoyed the camp, we can’t say it was perfect because some days weren’t, but it’s supposed to happen. in a training camp.
“We peaked at the right time and that’s the happiest he’s been, so that’s the perfect sign.
“There is never a perfect training camp where every day is good. There were a few days where we had to work on stuff but he listened and corrected things and now he has to go do it in the ring.
Strangely, Joshua, 32, has refused to publicly name Garcia as his head coach, with unproven Spaniard Angel Fernandez also in his corner.
The Watford man said: “You have to ask them. We don’t really talk about having a head coach because there is no ego in our team. We are just here to do a job.
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Hopefully one of the coaches contributed to AJ’s supposed list of 13 left-handed sparring partners.
A member of Usyk’s team told SunSport that the beasts the champion has faced in training are a different league than the group Joshua’s team brought in to emulate the Ukrainian southpaw.
And there was a distinct absence of recognizable names on the list of AJ fans thanked for emulating Usyk’s maverick move on Wednesday.
Joshua has admitted the decision to try and send Usyk off in their first encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 11 months ago was his own choice.
The Ukrainian genius, an Olympic champion and winner of 335 of 350 amateur bouts, outclassed the Englishman as he picked up points.
Everyone in boxing knows Anthony can’t dispatch Usyk
Luckily, Garcia had Usyk in his California gym. And he knows the only way to end the Cossack Warrior’s perfect record of 19 wins as a pro is to knock him out for the first time.
Garcia said: “Everyone in boxing knows he can’t outbox Usyk. So we have to put intelligent pressure on him.
“Usyk is a very talented fighter, his combinations, he has a great jab, great right right hand, right hands to the body, stuff like that.
“Instead of training for boxing, we have to train for an upcoming fight. But we’re not going to become a brawler either, we have to do it smart.
Critics suggest that Joshua has nothing to do with the studious sponge he claims to be.
Garcia insists his man isn’t stupid – and says if AJ gets the right mix of brains and strength, then even Usyk will fall.
The American said of Joshua: “People underestimate how smart he is.
“But once you’ve been with him for a few months, you see how smart, dedicated and talented he is.
“When you add a little more to that, mentally and physically prepare him to do damage, he’s unstoppable.”