Chris Algieri says Anthony Joshua’s choice of adding Robert Garcia to his team as his new trainer is an “odd” move for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk because he’s not known as a coach that works with heavyweights.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has swapped out his old coach Rob McCracken in favor of Robert Garcia, believing this is the move that will help him make the needed improvements to his game to defeat unified heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in their rematch on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Robert has his work cut out for him to get Joshua ready for the rematch because Usyk “figures guys out” quickly, meaning whatever changes are made to AJ’s game will be solved promptly.
If Joshua is painting by the number system with his new coach, Usyk will adapt in a lightning fashion and dominate him as he did in their first fight last September.
“The match-up with [Robert] Garcia on paper is odd. He’s not known as a heavyweight trainer. Not a lot of heavyweights come out of the Robert Garcia boxing academy,” said Chris Algieri to Fight Hub TV about Anthony Joshua choosing Robert Garcia as his new coach for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
“But knowing Robert as I do, I understand it. That’s one of the things about Robert. He understands it; he is a fighter. He was a fighter and a champion. He knows how to speak to fighters.
“So personality-wise, they probably had some kind of connection because you have to go meet your trainer if you’re going to work with somebody,” Algieri said of Robert and Joshua.
“I’m sure that was a big reason why they were able to hit it off. Being able to speak to the fighter, speaking the same language in the corner, is important. That makes sense to me in that regard, but not so much on paper, again, because of the lack of experience [for Robert] with heavyweights.
“But man, it’s a huge opportunity and a tough fight; it’s a really tough fight [for Joshua]. Usyk looked fantastic in the first fight, and he’s got the game plan. He’s already done it; he knows how to do it.
“The thing about Usyk is, he’s so fluid, and he figures guys out, and he’s such a technician that he’s a really difficult guy to prepare for. I’m not sure Joshua is going to be able to put together a game plan to topple that.
“Just logistically, it’s tough. Joshua is the taller guy. To go down to the body is going to leave him open,” said Algieri in responding to being told that promoter Eddie Hearn said that Usyk doesn’t like getting hit to the body.
“He’s a bigger guy, a taller guy. He’s going to leave himself open to the faster-handed Usyk if he does go down to the body, especially consistently or any kind of consistency.
“It’s an interesting thought if he can make that happen. We’ll see. Joshua is not known as a body puncher, but he’s working with Robert Garcia,” said Algieri.