By Adam Baskin: Trainer Robert Garcia is predicting a victory for Anthony Joshua in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Garcia was recently hired by former unified heavyweight champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) to replace Robert McCracken as the head coach to try and guide him to victory in his second fight with Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).
As Garcia points out, what’s done is done. Joshua got it wrong the last time he fought Usyk, but that was in the past, he’s now focusing on adapting, making changes to AJ’s game so that there won’t be a repeat of what took place last September.
Joshua & Usyk met on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia for their first press conference to promote the rematch on DAZN pay-per-view on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
This is Joshua’s chance to avenge his loss to Usyk and become a three-time world champion.
In 2019, AJ avenged his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr by defeating the American by a 12-round unanimous decision by making changes to his fighting style from their first fight in June of that year.
To defeat Usyk, Joshua will adapt again, but it’ll be more of a return to his old style of fighting when he was more aggressive, using his size and focusing on his power game.
“I want to congratulate Usyk and his team for all the success they had. They’re great people and a great team,” said Robert Garcia, the new trainer for Joshua.
“I started coming back and forth in December to England to work with Anthony. I see a different Anthony now, the way he thinks, the way he talks, and how he’s practicing everything he’s doing in the gym,” said Robert.
“I thought he fought the wrong fight, and that’s the past. That happened already. Usyk was the better man, congratulations to him, but come August 20th, we’re going to do whatever it takes to win his titles back.
“I know I can do it. He’s the bigger man, the stronger man, he’s got the reach advantage and we’re going to take advantage of all that. Come that day, we’re going to have a three-time heavyweight champion of the world,’ said Robert Garcia, predicting a victory for Joshua.
Rematches are always fascinating. We saw Anthony adapt so well in the Andy Ruiz rematch, fought a completely different fight, boxed under instructions, and won every round in that fight,” said Eddie Hearn.
“We know that Oleksandr Usyk is a pound-for-pound great fighter. You recently talked in an interview about the ability to adapt in a fight.
“The game plan might need to change during the fight, and you’re willing to cover all bases as we go into this difficult task to fight this pound-for-pound great,” said Hearn.
“Definitely, we’ve got to prepare for everything,” said Robert Garcia. Usyk is a great fighter. He’s got skills, he’s got reflexes, he’s got accuracy, he’s got everything., but I think Anthony has got all the tools to beat him.
“We’ve just got to do the things in the gym. When I first came in December, [trainer] Angel Fernandez, who was working with us, told me so many things that went wrong in the camp.
“That’s the past, that already happened. Now, it’s time to work on what Anthony can do. If you see Anthony in the back, he’s practicing little things that we’ve been working on in the gym. Even on his days off from him, we’re training and watching videos together.
“He’s learning, he’s taking notes, he wants to be champion again, and as I told you, I have no doubts that on August 20, he will be champion again,said Robert.
“You’ve worked with some great fighters. What’s it like to watch this man unload leather?” said Hearn to Robert about his thoughts on working with Joshua.
“With the dedication that he has and all the hard work that he does in training in the gym, it motivates me to do much more in the training camp, to come out with a win because I know how much he wants it and how much the rest of the team wants it. That motivates me to do it also.
“I want my first heavyweight champion of the world. I’ve had 14 world champions, and he will be my 15th. He will be my first heavyweight champion of the world, and that will be big for me too,’ said Robert.