Joshua ‘baffled’ by ex-trainer’s comments – ‘I’m not a little boy’

I still feel fresh and young – Anthony Joshua ready for Jermaine Franklin fight

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Anthony Joshua was ‘baffled’ by comments made by his former head coach Robert Garcia following the second fight with Oleksandr Usyk. Garcia raised a few eyebrows when he affirmed that Joshua lost to Usyk because he was “mentally defeated”.

“Joshua was mentally defeated since round 10 or 11,” Garcia told IZQUIERDAZO, “Round 10 was a big one for Usyk. That changed the whole fight, and mentally we were defeated.”

He added: “I have even thought in these last few days that it was Anthony Joshua who mentally defeated himself… In this fight, I think that Usyk was mentally stronger.”

Garcia later claimed the meaning had been lost in translation, although IZQUIERDAZO insisted this was not the case. At the time, Garcia and Joshua had only just linked up and it is believed that this interview was a key contributing factor behind AJ terminating their relationship after only four months of working together.

Hinting that this was the case, Joshua told talkSPORT: “I just felt like, Garcia kind of said a lot, which baffled me as well. But I’m not a little – what’s a word I can use on this show? – I’m not a little boy.

“I can take it, but at the same time – I can’t talk about you, and you not back yourself. So, I said, ‘Rah, some things aren’t adding up to me, certain things that people are saying aren’t adding up.’So, the second time I just said, ‘I’m going to make the decision this time, I’m going do it myself.’ And that’s how I ended up being in this position now where I am based in Texas.

“Going from the process of trying to do it, it not working, then doing it a different way but giving the coach the reins to do it. And then the third time I said, ‘I’m gonna do it my way and step away from everything.’”

Joshua has since acquired the services of the 2022 Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year, Derrick James, who is the mastermind behind the successes of Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo. The Watford powerhouse has since relocated to Dallas, Texas to do his camp at James’ gym for his upcoming fight with Jermaine Franklin on April 1.

Providing all goes well against Franklin, Joshua is expected to box Dillian Whyte in June before closing out the year with a blockbuster showdown against either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

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