Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz: Trainer lifts lid on rematch preparations

Luke Bosher
The Independent
Anthony Joshua and trainer Rob McCracken during the press conference: Action Images via Reuters
Anthony Joshua and trainer Rob McCracken during the press conference: Action Images via Reuters

Rob McCraken will resume his role at the forefront of Anthony Joshua's boxing team and has dismissed the possibility of making substantial changes to his preparation ahead of the rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua was sensationally beaten by Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in June - his first defeat as a professional fighter and one that cost him the WBO, IBF and WBA world titles.

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The defeat sent shockwaves around the boxing world and brought with it questions about Joshua’s coaching staff and preparation for the fight.

McCracken, Joshua’s head coach since 2016, dismissed suggestions that he has too much influence over Joshua’s training regime in an interview with Sky Sports.

"I think everybody just gets the wrong idea all the time. Lots of people have always worked with us in the camp.

"I'm the head coach, but I can't do everything, so we've always had different people coming in who are good on the pads, who are good with movement, footwork drills whatever, so there's a variety of people we use.”

After he came under fire following the defeat, 51-year-old McCracken told that suggestions he and Joshua could part ways were only natural given the nature of the sport.

“I think those comments are predictable.

“It’s nothing I care too much about. Me and Anthony have a great relationship, he doesn’t just train with me, he trains with a variety of people over the years, but I’m the head coach whilst he wants me to be head coach."

Joshua himself was also quick to dismiss the idea of replacing his head coach on ‘AJ: The Untold Truth’ on Sky Sports.

"Whoever said that is a clown. Part ways with McCracken? No way. These people don't understand loyalty.”

After reports surfaced that he had been mentally suffering ahead of the fight, Joshua quickly denied the idea on his YouTube channel shortly after the fight.

“I had no panic attack, I'm not that type of person. I have to take my loss like a man, I'm not blaming any man or any thing.”

He reiterated this to Sky Sports last month when he was asked again about having a panic attack.

"What is a panic attack?" he replied. "No, no [laughs].”

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