Time to rough up Anthony Joshua and move him away from Sheffield – Eddie Hearn

Joshua has trained under Rob McCracken at GB Boxing’s headquarters during his professional career.

By Press Association Published: 17 December 2021 - 5.40am

Anthony Joshua could leave his Sheffield base to prepare for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, according to Eddie Hearn.

Since starting his professional career, Joshua has trained under the watchful eye of Rob McCracken at GB Boxing’s headquarters in Yorkshire.

But promoter Hearn believes it is time to “rough up” the 32-year-old as he looks to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweights belts he lost to Usyk in September.

A date and venue for the rematch has yet to be confirmed but Joshua’s preparations for the bout may not include his long-time trainer.

Anthony Joshua spas with trainer Rob McCracken in Sheffield
Anthony Joshua spas with trainer Rob McCracken in Sheffield (Tim Goode/PA)

Hearn told the Sun: “Rob’s in Sheffield and that’s his base. I feel it might be time to move on from that environment because when you’ve been there since you were 18 and you go into GB and Anthony Joshua is everywhere, he’s a god.

“I just feel it’s time to rough him up a little bit, not in log cabins in the middle of nowhere. But up there it’s ‘oh my God, it’s AJ!’ because they’re proud of him.

“Rob is not necessarily gone. That’s a conversation for those guys and it’s very difficult because (he) is more than just a trainer, he’s a mentor to him, an adviser, a friend.

“It’s not just about who’s training him, it’s about where that’s going to take place. He’s talking to people and I think he will make a decision early in the new year.”

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