Anthony Joshua’s trainer Robert Garcia had no say in whether or not his fighter would accept Tyson Fury’s offer for a December match-up.
The former world heavyweight champion has lost twice in a row to Oleksandr Usyk, and was likely gearing up for a couple of fights to get back in action before ultimately heading back to world level. However, when Fury’s team came in with a fight offer for the end of the year, Joshua’s team accepted and are now awaiting a contract.
But in an interesting turn of events, Garcia claimed that he had minimal say in Joshua facing Fury, and would have preferred for him to have as many as three fights before agreeing to the bout. He admitted that as the newest member of the team he didn’t have as much of a say, and insisted that he is confident in the Brit’s team and their ability to make the right decisions.
“Yes, I have spoken with Joshua’s team,” Garcia said. “But I am the newest member of the whole team, and they are decisions that they have to make between them. For my part, I would like to do about 2 or 3 fights before [Fury], but obviously it is a business and a huge fight in Europe.
“I can’t stop them from taking something if it’s a huge fight and the purse I think would be a lot of money. “I’m the newest on the team, I don’t own the decisions, they have a very smart management team and they will make the right decision and it’s their decision really.”
Garcia has trained 14 world champions, and even won top honours during his own professional career. But he has never coached a heavyweight to such a title, and is keen to make Joshua his first. However, he would rather do camp at his California training base as opposed to moving to London again, given that he has a thriving gym with fighters competing weekly.
“I told them what I think: that it would be better, and because of my work in California, I recommended doing the camp here,” Garcia explained. “He liked the idea and they will take it into account. But for me to go back [to train Joshua in London] is difficult for me. I have a lot of work, fighters who fight every weekend.
“But I know that with my dad’s team, my son Mikey, I know I can do it and go another couple of months. I know I can, but I would rather stay. Let the preparation be here.”
Joshua’s team are expecting to receive a contract for the fight this week after accepting Fury’s terms, despite promoter Eddie Hearn admitting that he is not best pleased with some of them. However, Garcia has concerns that it may all just be a negotiation tactic to get Oleksandr Usyk back to the table for an undisputed fight, which the Ukrainian doesn’t want to do so soon.
“For me, if you want to know what I think: I think Fury is doing all this to put pressure on Usyk to make the unification,” Garcia added. “It’s a great fight, and I also think Fury started talking. And they have talked about it with Joshua ‘s team, because they told me about it, but it could be part of the strategy of putting pressure on Usyk and thinking that he is losing the opportunity”.