Anthony Joshua has 'all the tools' to defeat Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah rematch - Garcia

The former champion seeking to reclaim the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he lost to Usyk last September

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Anthony Joshua’s new trainer says he has "no doubt" the Briton will be crowned three-time world heavyweight champion in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia this summer, stressing the former belt-holder has “all the tools” to come out on top.

Joshua, 32, will look to reclaim the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he lost to Usyk in their first clash in London last September when they meet again on August 20, with the fight to take place in Jeddah. The bout has been billed "Rage on the Red Sea".

Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion who remains unbeaten as a professional, triumphed convincingly in the initial encounter, taking the contest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium by unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 117-112, 116-112 and 115-13.

The manner of the defeat has prompted Joshua to make significant changes to his camp ahead of the rematch, with Garcia replacing long-time head trainer Rob McCracken.

The pair had enjoyed a lengthy and successful time together throughout Joshua's pro career, with the 2012 Olympic Gold medallist going on to win 24 of 26 bouts.

Speaking in Jeddah this week, as the August 20 event’s media obligations got officially under way, Garcia said: “I started coming [to England] in December, I’ve been coming back-and-forth to work with Anthony.

"I see a different Anthony now. The way he thinks, the way he talks, everything he’s practicing, everything he’s doing in the gym. I think he fought the wrong fight, and that’s the past. That happened already.

“We’ll see who’s the better man. Come August 20, we’re going to do whatever it takes to win those titles back. I know he can do it. He’s the bigger man, he’s the stronger man, he’s got the reach advantage, so we’re going to take advantage of all that.

Come that day, I think without a doubt, we’re going to have a three-time heavyweight champion of the world.”

The highly respected Garcia, who to date has trained 14 world champions, knows Usyk well having hosted the Ukrainian and his team in his gym in the United States. Garcia has labelled the current champion, whose pro record stands at 19-0, as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

“We’ve got to be prepared for everything,” Garcia said. “Usyk is a great fighter. He’s got skills, he’s got reflexes, he’s got accuracy, he’s got everything. I think Anthony has all the tools to beat him. We just have to do the things in the gym.

“[The September defeat] is all in the past; now it’s time to work on what Anthony can do. He’s practising little things we’ve been working on in the gym even on his days off.

"He’s training, we’re watching video together, and he’s learning, he’s taking notes. He wants to be champion again. And, like I told you, I have no doubt that he will be champion again.”

Updated: June 24, 2022, 8:45 AM
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