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Anthony Joshua to bring in an ‘old-school and experienced’ coach to help new trainer Angel Fernandez for Usyk rematch

ANTHONY JOSHUA will bring in a wise and “experienced head” to help him prepare for his high-stakes rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

The Watford warrior replaced long-time head coach Rob McCracken with former assistant trainer Angel Hernandez following his schooling at the hands of the slick southpaw last September.

Angel Fernandez has been appointed as Anthony Joshua’s head coach

Former assistant trainer Fernandez has replaced Rob McMcracken as lead coch


But promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed an “old-school and experienced” coach will also help AJ prepare for his rematch with Usyk

AJ, 32, travelled to America to work with respected coaches Eddy Reynoso, Robert Garcia, Virgil Hunter and Ronnie Shields in the wake of his crushing defeat, which scuppered a blockbuster Battle of Britain with Tyson Fury.

And the former two-time unified heavyweight champion plans to bring a coach of the quartet’s ilk to help oversee preparations for his summer showdown with boxing’s pound-for-pound king.

Promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing News: “There’ll be additional people coming in and working in the team as well. But he gets on well with Angel; they’ve got a great relationship.

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“He could have got any trainer in the world, and he chose to continue working with Angel Fernandez – and that’s for a reason.

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“He likes what he’s doing in Loughborough, he’s comfortable and believes in it.

“But there’ll be more experienced head coming in – whether that’s as a lead cornerman, I don’t think so, but [experienced] yes.

“It’s well documented he spoke to Eddy Reynoso, Robert Garcia, Virgil Hunter and [Ronnie Shields].

“[It’ll be] someone [similarly] old-school and experienced.”

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Joshua’s decision to part ways with McCracken – who coached him to Olympic gold in 2012 – stemmed from his desire to keep learning the sweet science.

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Hearn revealed: “Joshua always wants to evolve and Rob’s got his particular way as well.

“They never fell out. Rob was always more than just a trainer; he was a confidante, advisor and everything.

“But once a fighter has doubt, you have to switch it up. They’d run their course. Rob also felt that it was time, as well as AJ.

“If you’re the head trainer, you don’t really want the fighter to bring in additional coaches.

“But Rob always wanted the best for AJ and AJ felt he needed to make improvements and bring people in.

“Don’t forget, those changes he made won him the Ruiz rematch, so it’s not like it was a disaster.

“It worked again in [Kubrat] Pulev fight, but it didn’t work in the Usyk fight. If AJ’s comfortable and believes it, we’re good.


Anthony Joshua and Rob McCracken’s separation was amicable

“He’s intelligent – you can’t double-bluff him. Clearly, he believes in Angel.”

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Joshua plans to adopt a different game-plan for his second dance with the undefeated Ukrainian, who ran rings around him in their Tottenham tussle.

And Hearn is confident the change of approach will result in AJ becoming a three-time heavyweight champion.

The Matchroom Boxing chief said: “He’d never experienced anything like that before – a really awkward, small southpaw moving around.

“Now he’s experienced it. I’m much, much, much more confident. Now he knows, ‘I’ve been there; I know what he does.’

“[It’ll be his best win] – especially at this stage of his career. Usyk is pound-for-pound number two.

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“He’s excited to do things differently in this fight. It’s not just a case of going and being reckless like a lunatic. But he will be very aggressive and looking to demolish Usyk.

“We’re closing in on finalising contracts, in terms of sites. We’re on the verge of deciding what we’re going to do.”

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