Boxing

Joshua clarifies trainer situation ahead of return to the ring

Anthony Joshua tells Tyson Fury he will be ‘ready in December’ for title fight

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Anthony Joshua added some clarity to his ongoing coaching situation heading into his return to action in early 2023. The Watford powerhouse is currently being trained by Robert Garcia and long-time assistant Angel Fernandez.

However, Garcia recently told Joshua that he will have to relocate to California for his camps if he wants to continue working with him. Garcia joined Joshua’s team ahead of his second fight with Oleksandr Usyk and spent the first half at ‘AJ’s’ base in Loughborough University before closing out the camp in Dubai.

But with other fighters to train, Garcia insists he won’t be able to do the same going forward. “I told Anthony and all his team that, for me, the best way to keep working together is if Anthony comes to train in my gym in California eight weeks before a fight,” Garcia told IZQUIERDAZO.

“From six to eight weeks, that’s all I need for a good camp. I told Anthony, ‘I need you to be around more fighters, more champions. I want you to have more fighters for competition, even if they are from the same gym, but you have to compete.’”

When asked whether he will continue working with Garcia for his next fight, Joshua told Sporting News: “So, in terms of Robert Garcia, thank you for asking. I respect him a lot. He’s a really good man, really good trainer. Will I work with him again?

“Yeah, I would, but what I’ve said to Robert and the team as well is that I want to be a free spirit. You know, 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.

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“Honestly, if you know me closely, which a lot of the viewers probably don’t, what it is is it’s not the trainer it’s about the fighter, what he has up here [in his head]. So, I feel I’m in a position where I’m able to work with anyone. So, yeah, who knows what will happen next year.”

Joshua will step back into the ring at some point between February and April next year. According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the winner of Dillian Whyte and Jermaine Franklin on November 26 is the ‘frontrunner’ to face Joshua next.

Otto Wallin, Filip Hrgovic, and Zhang Zhilei have also been mentioned as potential options by Hearn. While Chris Arreola and Gerald Washington claim that approaches have been made to inquire into their services – although the Matchroom Boxing chief has not confirmed this to be true.

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