Anthony Joshua was 'CONFUSED' going into Oleksandr Usyk bout as Eddie Hearn reveals worrying pre-fight sign | The Sun

Anthony Joshua was 'CONFUSED' going into Oleksandr Usyk bout as Eddie Hearn reveals worrying pre-fight sign | The Sun

ANTHONY JOSHUA was so confused for his first Oleksandr Usyk showdown he needed a NOTEPAD to warm-up for, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

The 33-year-old London 2012 Olympic legend went into the 2021 Tottenham showdown with the WBA, IBF and WBO belts and three trainers giving him advice in the corner.

After the shock stoppage loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, AJ diluted decade-long mentor Rob McCracken’s influence by adding unproven coaches Angel Fernandez and Joby Clayton to his team.

The new voices in the corner helped Joshua cautiously outpoint the 20st Mexican and regain his belts.

But 19 months later there seemed to be an information overload as Joshua spent crucial moments before the bout checking a book, in between hitting the pads.

Matchroom boss Hearn revealed: “He went into the first Usyk fight just confused, really.

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“I remember when he was warming up for the fight and he had a pad of notes that he and the team had put together.

“He would be hitting the pads and every now and again he would go over and look at the book.”

The Spurs loss to the 35-year-old Ukraine mastermind cost McCracken his job.

Mexican-American Robert Garcia was brought in for the August 2012 Saudi rematch, where AJ improved but suffered another compounding loss.

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But Joshua has just been on another US tour looking for another trainer to add to his corner.

Hearn admits the constant confusion in Joshua’s corner, since the 2019 reshuffle, is harming his star attraction’s career.

He said: “The best AJ thinks ‘I know exactly what I am doing’. 

"But to do that you need a tutor. 

“That’s why Rob McCracken was so important for him. Remember when he boxed (Wladimir) Klitschko, 

“Rob McCracken was a big part of winning that fight, in rounds five and six. 

“As a fighter you have to be able to look into a trainer’s eyes and say ‘I am in trouble here, tell me what I need to do’. 

“Not go back to your corner and have five or six voices telling you what to do.”


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