Roy Jones Jr cites miscommunication as the key reason Anthony Joshua lost to Oleksandr Usyk in rematch – Ring News 24

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Anthony Joshua and trainer Robert Garcia. Photo credit: Getty Images

Former four-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr believes trainer Robert Garcia didn’t articulate properly what he needed from Anthony Joshua 24-3 (22) in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk 20-(13) in Saudi Arabia in August.

The 33-year-old Joshua lost a split decision by scores of 115-113, 112-116 and 113-115. It came 11 months after his unanimous decision loss to the 35-year-old Ukrainian southpaw. That bout was scored 117-112, 115-113 and 116-112 in Usyk’s favour.

After the first loss Britain’s Joshua replaced long-time trainer Robert McCracken with renowned American Robert Garcia in an effort to find the extra spark he needed to defeat Usyk in their immediate rematch.

Adjustments were made, but Joshua still came up short, despite faring better than he did in their first bout.

Jones won his first world title at middleweight when he outpointed Bernard Hopkins for the vacant IBF middleweight championship in 1993. He moved up to super middleweight the following year to defeat James Toney on points for the IBF strap and made five defences before settling into the light heavyweight division in 1996 with a decision win over Mike McCallum.

Jones had a lengthy reign as 175-pound champion through to 2004, picking up the WBC, WBA and IBF belts. In 2003 he made a hit-and-run mission to heavyweight to outscore WBA champion John Ruiz.

With those sort of credentials, Jones – who is now a successful trainer in his own right – gave his own insight in what went wrong in the Usyk-Joshua II fight.

“They tried to make the change. But I think he did not really understand what they were asking for and it wasn’t communicated properly to him, so he could understand what was being asked of him – that’s my outside opinion,” Jones told OLBG.

“I didn’t feel that the change he made was going to be good because you’re getting a smaller guy to teach you how to fight a big guy. So, it was a tough situation for Garcia because I don’t know if Garcia’s been put in that situation. I didn’t want to watch the second one because I didn’t want to lose my hope that he could beat Usyk. [My plan to beat Usyk], it’s the same concept that Garcia had in a sense, it’s just that Garcia is a shorter guy. He has a different way of doing it.

“And to me it would be very difficult for him to communicate to Joshua how to do something – Joshua’s a tall guy and Usyk is a tall guy. It’s hard for a short guy to explain something to you that he never had to do. I’m not tall, but I had to deal with all of them.

“I went from junior middleweight to heavyweight. Nobody ever did that in the history of the sport. My range is a little bit different than Garcia’s. I do understand what Garcia’s plan was, but sometimes different backgrounds, different ways of articulating things to people – sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t – I don’t think he was able to articulate it to Joshua where Joshua really understood it.”

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