British light-heavyweight champion, Dan Azeez, has tipped Anthony Joshua to replace head trainer Robert Garcia ahead of his next fight. Garcia gave a controversial interview recently in which he was quoted to say that Joshua is not ‘mentally strong’ but the legendary trainer claims this was a mistranslation.
Regardless, Azeez believes those comments should have been said behind closed doors. While discussing the pairing on Sky Sports‘ Ringside Toe2Toe podcast, Azeez said: “I don’t see them working together again and even him coming out now with the mental stuff. Maybe people don’t say it to him behind closed doors, but I think it’s something maybe they should have said behind closed doors not come out and say it in public.
“You’re already showing his weaknesses now. Everyone says boxing is 80 per cent mental. If your own trainer who’s spent how many weeks with you is saying he’s not mentally strong or insinuating that’s a big thing.”
The interview being referred to was done in Spanish with LEFT PUNCH and according to Garcia, its meaning has been altered during its translation to English. Clearing up the controversy, Garcia told EsNews: “There’s been a few that I’ve read that they’ve actually sent to me, saying ‘did you really say that?’
“I haven’t talked to nobody, especially in English you’re the first person I’m talking to. I spoke to a Spanish reporter that I know so I gave him a little interview but from Spanish translated to English they make it seem like, ‘Oh Robert is talking s***’ pretty much. I wouldn’t say that about my fighters man. I’ve never done it before and I never will.”
He continued: “The headline is, ‘Robert says Anthony mentally beat himself’ but I never said that. I said that Usyk after being hurt really bad in the ninth he came in the tenth like that never happened, he came strong which you’ve got to applaud that. So that’s not saying, ‘oh Anthony was beat mentally’. Usyk came back strong and dominated those three rounds.”
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Garcia recently told Joshua’s team that he will only be able to work with the Watford powerhouse if he relocates to California during camps due to his ongoing commitment to his other fighters.
He currently also trains WBC super flyweight world champion, Jesse Rodriguez and former unified light-welterweight champion Jose Ramirez and admits he won’t be able to leave America if they have big fights on the same dates.