Anthony Joshua's new coach Robert Garcia admits it'll be a 'big challenge' for him to mastermind victory in Usyk rematch

Anthony Joshua's new coach Robert Garcia admits it'll be a 'big challenge' for him to mastermind victory in Usyk rematch

ROBERT GARCIA admits it will be a "big challenge" for him to turn Anthony Joshua into a three-time heavyweight champion.

The renowned American coach has been drafted in to replace AJ's former longtime trainer Robert McCracken, who was given the boot after the Watford warrior's defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last September.

Garcia, 47, has trained 14 champions in his coaching career but has yet to guide a heavyweight to a world title – which he'll hope to do when Joshua rematches Usyk later this summer.

He said: "It's a big challenge for me because this is my first time taking a heavyweight to fight for a world title. So it's kind of like a dream come true.

"I've had champions in almost every weight division from 105 to 108, to 112 to 115, 118, 122, 126 and 135lbs.

"I think I'm just missing cruiserweight, light-heavyweight and super-middleweight. Those are the three I'm missing plus heavyweight.


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"But having a heavyweight champion is the top of the line. I'm excited."

Former super-featherweight champion Garcia never envisaged training a heavyweight contender, telling Little Giant Boxing: "I always thought heavyweights maybe was not a good idea because it's different.

"Their way of training is a lot different than a lightweight. We're used to doing a lot of rounds on mitts, speed work and running a lot more. With heavyweights, it's a different story."

Garcia made two secret trips to the UK to train with AJ before his appointment was confirmed and has been thoroughly impressed by the Brit's work ethic.

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He said of Joshua: "He's a very, very challenging fighter for himself. He wants those challenges and he trains hard.

"He works as hard as any lightweight. So that's the difference.

"The few heavyweights I've worked with before, they've kind of been lazy because they're heavy and they don't work as hard.

"They're a little lazy. All of that has happened.

"So that's probably why I had the idea that, 'Maybe I'll never work with any heavyweights.'"

Joshua, 32, was turned over by slick southpaw Usyk in their tussle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September and lost his grip on the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles.

Usyk will be a tough nut to crack second time around but Garcia is relishing the challenge of masterminding the undefeated Ukrainian's first professional loss.

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He said: "This opportunity came and I loved that challenge, especially coming off a loss and getting the rematch against the guy that beat him and became the champion at that weight.

"It's a great challenge for me. I know it's not going to be easy, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to get Anthony to become a champion again."

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