Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2: Tony Bellew waxes lyrical over Robert Garcia

  • Tom Ward

Tony Bellew believes Anthony Joshua‘s new trainer Robert Garcia can bring the best out of him in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk – and hailed him as ‘one of the smartest coaches’ in boxing.

AJ, 32, lost in convincing fashion to Usyk, 35, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, losing the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in the process.

The British superstar appointed the older brother of Mikey Garcia to his coaching staff in May less than five months before he runs it back with the Ukrainian in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah’s Super Dome on August 20.

And writing in his column for DAZN, British legend Bellew could not stop singing his praises of the American.

He wrote: “Since the loss to Usyk, Joshua has made huge changes to his team with Angel Fernandez taking a bigger role and the legendary Robert Garcia also coming onboard.

“Robert McCracken is no longer involved and that could be a big factor, but Joshua is a very smart man and he’ll be fully aware of what he’s doing with his team. 

“All eyes will be on Robert Garcia in the build-up to this fight and it’ll be interesting to see what changes he can make to Joshua at this stage of his career.

“He’s one of the smartest coaches around and he wouldn’t have taken this job if he didn’t believe he could add value.

Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk are set to rematch in the summer

“He was a winner as a fighter, he’s a winner as a trainer, and he’ll be fully focused on winning when preparing Joshua for the biggest test of his career. 

“He’ll want ‘AJ’ to start a lot quicker because if Usyk is allowed to settle early then you might just see a repeat of the first fight.

“If Joshua can use his size, speed, and power, but do it correctly, then he can get Usyk’s attention and let him know he’s in with a different animal from the first fight.

“That’s the approach Joshua should take. Let Usyk know he’s in a tough fight right from the outset. 

“This fight will mean the world to Joshua after what happened in the first one but make no mistake about it, he’s going to be a threat in this division no matter what the result.

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“If he can’t get past Usyk then he might have to put his world title dreams on hold for a little while but that doesn’t mean that the climb back to the top won’t be eventful. 

“Can you imagine Joshua against Deontay Wilder in America? What a fight that would be between two explosive fighters. Joshua taking on British fighters like Dillian Whyte again or Joe Joyce.

“Those fights would fill any stadium in Britain. Or even the big one with Tyson Fury. That still remains a huge fight as long as both men are active. 

“First though, it’s all eyes on August 20 and Joshua against Usyk. Although I believe his future is bright whatever the result, fighters are incredibly proud, and Joshua will be desperate for revenge. If he can beat Usyk, then him against Fury becomes the biggest fight we’ve seen in a long time.

“If it is Usyk’s night, then the journey back to the top for Joshua will be a hard one but he’s proven before that he loves a challenge.”

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