Dillian Whyte is not my mate, Joshua fires back at challenger
AJ Baffled By Ex-Trainer’s Mentality Comment
Anthony Joshua has hit back at Dillian Whyte’s comments that he is going for the ‘easier option’ in boxing Jermaine Franklin rather than him. Whyte was promised a shot at AJ in the spring by Eddie Hearn after beating the American last November but that pledge has since been broken, reports express.co.uk.
According to Wallin’s promoter, Dmitry Salita, they are exploring the match-up for April.
Meanwhile, Joshua has told talkSPORT that he was ‘baffled’ by comments made by his former trainer, Robert Garcia, in the aftermath of their defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
AJ was trained by Rob McCracken for a large portion of his career, but started to make changes after his 2019 defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.
At that time he added Angel Fernandez and Joby Clayton to make a three-man team based up in Sheffield.
The trio were successful in leading Joshua to victory in the Ruiz Jr rematch and his 2020 defence against Kubrat Pulev.
However, AJ has now described a ‘massive breakdown,’ which caused him to switch things up entirely after his first loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021.
“I tried to do it a certain way because of past experiences,” Joshua told talkSPORT, “When I was with Rob McCracken, I felt we needed to develop
“I looked at it like Rob McCracken is Sir Alex Ferguson – the gaffer. So, I brought on a technical free-kick coach and a technical penalty coach underneath – they’re gonna work together and form a strategy…
“I wanted to create a structure. That didn’t work, massive breakdown in training camp, so I thought it was best to step away from that.
Of his three coaches, AJ only retained Fernandez for last year’s Usyk rematch.
The pair travelled out to the U.S. to search for additional help and landed on Garcia at Fernandez’s behest, bringing him back to the UK for a camp based in Loughborough.
In the days after the defeat, Garcia caused a shock by making strong comments to Spanish-speaking media outlets.
“Joshua was mentally defeated since round 10 or 11,” Garcia told IZQUIERDAZO, “Round 10 was a big one for Usyk. That changed the whole fight, and mentally we were defeated.”
He added: “I have even thought in these last few days that it was Joshua who mentally defeated himself…
“In this fight, I think that Usyk was mentally stronger.”
Garcia later claimed the comments had been somewhat mistranslated, though IZQUIERDAZO insisted this was not the case.
Seeing these remarks, Joshua informed Garcia that he would once again be travelling to the U.S. to scout potential new coaches, this time without Fernandez by his side.
AJ has now put together a new team of his own choice ahead of his return fight against Jermaine Franklin on April 1, with Derrick James his new head coach for a camp based at James’ gym in Texas.
Reflecting on how he reacted after the second Usyk defeat, Joshua continued: “I said to Angel, ‘I wanna keep exploring options.’
“I just felt like, Garcia kind of said a lot, which baffled me as well. But I’m not a little – what’s a word I can use on this show? – I’m not a little boy.
“I can take it, but at the same time – I can’t talk about you, and you not back yourself.
“So I said, ‘Rah, some things aren’t adding up to me, certain things that people are saying aren’t adding up.’”