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Anthony Joshua claims former trainer ‘didn’t teach’ him defence – ‘I was getting hit way too much’

Anthony Joshua has claimed that his former trainer Rob McCracken “didn’t teach” him “defence” when they worked together.

Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has hit out at former trainer Rob McCracken, who "didn't teach" him "defence". 

Joshua has spent most of his career working with McCracken, who has earned praise for his work with Carl Froch and the UK Olympic team.

The former world champion parted ways with McCracken following his first defeat to Oleksandr Usyk. He linked up with Robert Garcia and Angel Fernandez for the rematch, but this was a short-lived relationship.

After his rematch loss to Usyk, Joshua switched his attention to finding another new trainer and he eventually settled on Derrick James, a well-regarded American trainer who also works with Errol Spence Jr.

Joshua has revealed in an honest interview that he was "fighting but not learning" while he was with McCracken.

"When I looked at [Floyd] Mayweather he had two phases of his career - Pretty Boy and then Money May. And he just became smarter, so I was just trying to get smarter as a fighter, that's all," Joshua told the Boxing News podcast.

"When I got beat by Ruiz, I had my health issues, but I kind of knew that at some stage I'm probably gonna come unstuck. Why? Because I didn't feel like I was learning. I was fighting but I wasn't learning.
"So that's why after the first Ruiz fight I went through that rebuilding phase. Completely changed my style - stick, move, hit and don't get hit. Then I tried to take that further on in my career with Usyk. He is the master of that s**t."
Joshua has also indicated that McCracken was "too committed to the Olympic team" when they were together.
"Yes [I wish my path had crossed with Derrick James earlier.] Rob's a really good coach, the only thing I'll say though is look at Froch's nose. He just didn't teach me defence. And in heavyweight boxing, the level of competition I was facing at that stage of my career, I was getting hit way too much with clean shots," Joshua added.
"I was sparring Solomon Dacres and Lewis, the tall six foot five guy, in Miami for Ruiz, who's five foot. Rob was in Japan for the Olympics. He only came back seven weeks before it. I just know it's not good enough for where I'm at.
"Derrick reminds me of Rob but a lot more invested… Rob was too committed to the Olympic team, not the pro team. I gave Rob my best years, and now I've got to dig deep to get them back again."

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