Rob McCracken Profile

Born May 31, 1968
Age 53 years
Birthplace Birmingham, UK
Height 6ft
Gym GB Boxing English Institute of Sport

The Englishman is one of the standout coaches of the modern era on UK shores having delivered unprecedented success at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for Team GB.

Rob McCracken is a British former professional boxer who is now a trainer and manager with his most notable fighter being heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Regarded as one of the leading trainers in world boxing, McCracken has received acclaim for his unprecedented success with Team GB and retired four-time world champion Carl Froch.

Not just known for his pad work and tactical advice, McCracken enjoyed a successful career in his own right as a fighter having challenged for World and European honours as well as winning the Commonwealth and British titles.

One of the most respected coaches in the game, McCracken helped guide Team GB to their most impressive performances in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London, respectively.

Joshua, James DeGale, Nicola Adams and Luke Campbell all entered the professional circuit off the back of winning gold medals at the most prestigious amateur tournament.

Boxing career

McCracken enjoyed a solid career as an amateur, with his highlights coming between 1989 to 1990. The Birmingham-born boxer represented the city at the national ABA light-welterweight championship in 1989 and finished second.

One year later he represented his country at the 1990 Commonwealth Games where he progressed into the quarter-finals of the tournament before tasting elimination. The defeat was his final bout in the amateur scene.

Upon turning pro, McCracken moved up to junior middleweight and quickly notched up an impressive unbeaten record with 18 successive wins. McCracken extended his unblemished record to 18-0 after beating Andy Till - who was five years his junior - for the Lonsdale belt.

His career continued going in the right direction with victory over Canadian Fitzerald Bruney for the Commonwealth middleweight title.

The Englishman defended his newly won title twice before moving to America to pursue a shot at the world title. He became number one in the WBC rankings after beating Lonny Beasley by unanimous decision.

A year later, after a prolonged break, he challenged Keith Holmes for the world title at Wembley Arena. His inactivity proved to be a costly factor as McCracken lost via an eleventh-round stoppage.

McCracken would fight just once more before hanging the gloves up following defeat to Howard Eastman for the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles.

Turning his attention to coaching in 2002, McCracken took over as Froch's trainer as he turned professional. The duo was inseparable during "The Cobra's" 12 years pro career, guiding him to becoming one of Britain's best Pound for Pound fighters in the modern era.

In 2009, McCracken became the performance director at Sheffield's English Institute of Sport (EIS) ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. McCracken helped Britain's boxing team to their most successful ever Olympics, winning three gold medals, plus a silver and a bronze.

Since the Olympics, McCracken has become Joshua's lead trainer and under the trainer's tutelage, Joshua has become a two-time world heavyweight champion.

Rob McCracken and Anthony Joshua

After becoming world champion with a stunning demolition of Charles Martin at London's O2 Arena, Joshua added McCracken to his coaching team to assist Tony Sims for his defence against Eric Molina.

Joshua dispatched the American inside three rounds to guarantee himself a unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko and made McCracken his head coach.

In a heavyweight fight for the ages, Joshua rallied back from the brink to retire Klitschko in round 11 at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 fans - a post-war record attendance for a boxing fight.

Joshua's dominance on the heavyweight division advanced further with victories over strong opposition in Carlos Takam and Alexander Povetkin via TKO.

Anthony Joshua Andy Ruiz victory

In between those two fights, Joshua unified the division with a polished performance against New Zealand's first heavyweight ruler Joseph Parker. Jarrell Miller was expected to be his next opponent before the American tested positive for three banned substances.

A quick replacement was made in the form of Andy Ruiz Jr. The fight turned out to be one of the biggest shocks in recent boxing history, as Ruiz Jr dominated Joshua before stopping him in the seventh round.

McCracken received a lot of criticism for this loss in the aftermath for his tactics and preparation with people questioning Joshua's physical and mental condition. A lot of pressure was on the pair in the rematch, but they responded emphatically.

In the rematch in Saudi Arabia, Joshua dominated it from start to finish, winning it on the scorecards 119-110, 118-110 and 118-10 to reclaim his world titles right back. McCracken was praised for his tactics.

McCracken guided Joshua to a successful first defence of his second heavyweight reign against Kubrat Pulev in December 2020 via stoppage. However, Joshua would relinquish the belts for a second time with defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021, prompting calls for McCracken to be replaced as AJ's head coach.

Rob McCracken and Carl Froch

Nottingham-born Froch advanced through the super middleweight division with ease early on. He reached 23-0 just over six years after turning pro. In that time, he won both the British and Commonwealth titles before reaching world level.

He faced Canadian Jean Pascal for the vacant WBC super middleweight title in his 24th bout. The fight started at an epic pace, with the pair exchanging big blows but it was Froch who eventually took control and won via unanimous decision to become world champion.

Froch successfully defended against Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell, before facing Mikkel Kessler for the first time in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. It turned into an instant classic fight between two of the best fighters at 168-pounds which ended in a victory for Denmark's Kessler.

"The Cobra" won the WBC title in his next fight, outpointing a stubborn Arthur Abraham to become a two-time world champion.

Victory over Glen Johnson followed before tasting defeat to Andre Ward in the final.

Froch was comprehensively outboxed for the majority of the fight. While defeat left a bad taste, it would not get in the way of a sensational comeback with a dominant win against the much-feared Lucian Bute in his hometown of Nottingham in 2012.

Carl Froch and Rob McCracken

Now a three-time world champion, Froch secured his long-awaited rematch with Mikkel Kessler. The Brit got his vengeance here, edging the bloody war at the O2 Arena, London via unanimous decision victory over his esteemed rival and good friend.

Froch faced brash upstart George Groves next. Groves almost caused a monumental shock, knocking Froch down early before the champion fought back to retain his titles in an unbelievable fight, which generated controversy from the stoppage.

A rematch was inevitable, and it took place at Wembley in front of 80,000 fans. The fight was close and cagey until Froch produced the knockout of a century in the eighth round to wipe out Groves to the canvas.

Froch retired afterwards and is now regarded as one of the best British fighters of all-time.

Personal life and awards

Before making his move into boxing, McCracken worked as a wood machinist at Hoskins Cabinet Works in his hometown Bordesley, Birmingham. "Boxing Bob" has had a long illustrious history in the sport.

After his achievements as head coach for the 2012 Olympics boxing team, McCracken was given an MBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours class. He was rewarded for his services to boxing and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

McCracken is married to Laura McCracken, and together they have had four daughters: Madeleine, Martha, Matilda and their youngest child, Tatum.

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