Anthony Joshua’s new coach Robert Garcia says AJ has a ‘mental issue’ which they are working on with the elite squad ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch


Anthony Joshua has put together an elite squad to help him overcome what his new manager Robert Garcia described as a “mental problem” ahead of Oleksandr Usyk’s rematch.

AJ has confirmed in recent weeks that Garcia will join Angel Fernandez in building his practice squad for the second fight with the Ukrainian, but it has now been revealed that he has also made additional hires.

Garcia is Joshua’s new coach and is currently working with him in the UK
Antoine Joshua

Garcia explained on his YouTube show Robert Garcia Unfiltered: “A lot of fighters, they take a loss – like probably after the Andy Ruiz Jr fight – they take a loss thinking it’s never going to happen.

“So it affected him, it affected him mentally.

“He probably thought, ‘Maybe this is the end of my career, maybe this is it’, so he had a lot on his mind.

“I think that’s one of the biggest things that has affected Anthony and that’s what I’m here to change – me and Angel and the other helpers he has.

“He created a team of not just me and Angel, making the game plan and training him with the right strategy or the right training partners to go out and perform.

“He hired other people who are also very smart.

Anthony Joshua's new coach Robert Garcia says AJ has a 'mental issue' which they are working on with the elite squad ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch
Joshua was badly beaten by Usyk last September
Mark Robinson/Matchroom
Anthony Joshua's new coach Robert Garcia says AJ has a 'mental issue' which they are working on with the elite squad ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch
AJ had already been beaten by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

“Not boxing trainers, just different people who could help him with his way of thinking.

“Someone who is with him, who thinks positive with him. Everyone around him is positive.

“Everyone around him pushes him to his limits, to what he was doing before he lost his first fight.

“He needs to know and believe that he’s still as good as ever, or he’ll be even better than he was before he first became champion, when he came out and knocked everyone out.”

Garcia continued, “A lot of times when a fighter is so good, so accomplished with a gold medal, two-time heavyweight champion, sometimes he can get a little too comfortable.

Anthony Joshua's new coach Robert Garcia says AJ has a 'mental issue' which they are working on with the elite squad ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch
The rematch would now be targeted for August 20
Mark Robinson/Matchroom

“They might think, ‘I’ve already lost a fight, so maybe I’m not as good?

“It goes to your head. This is something we need to change.

“Because he already has. He has already won the gold medal against the best fighters in the world.

“And then, as a pro, he also beat the best to become world heavyweight champion.

“We didn’t see that before he lost. After he lost, that’s when we saw there was more of a mental issue, so we’re working on that.

“You have to push him in training, in combat.

“The job is going to be done, he just has to go out and play.”

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