Anthony Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken has no regrets over his handling of the heavyweight’s shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in their world heavyweight title bout in June.
Joshua will have McCracken in his corner for next month’s rematch in Saudi Arabia after resisting calls led by former champion Lennox Lewis to ditch the man who masterminded his rise to global success.
McCracken came in for particular criticism after appearing to acknowledge he knew Joshua was concussed during the contest, which he lost by seventh-round stoppage in one of the division’s greatest upsets.
McCracken said: As a trainer you’ve got to be honest with yourself – you’ve got to be able to look yourself in the mirror after a fight and ask yourself, did I do the right thing for that boxer?
“The moment you think they have no chance of getting back into it, that’s when you should step in and be brave, and take all the criticism you’ve going to get in the other way.
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“At no point did I think that Big Josh had no chance of getting back into that fight. I’ve always had the best intentions of every boxer at heart and I would never leave them in a moment long enough to be in danger.”
Both McCracken and Joshua maintain they have no radically different blueprint for the rematch, despite the high stakes as he seeks to muscle his way back into the unification picture.
While a conclusive win would make bouts against the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder more of an imminent reality, a repeat of his New York loss would cast serious doubts over his high-level future.
McCracken added: “In hindsight there are always things you can do better. If you can’t learn from something and do better next time, you’ve got a problem.
“It was a difficult night in New York – as difficult as it can get. There was always going to be criticism and some sort of backlash, but I’ve been through it all in boxing and I’ve got a thick skin.
“People will analyse and have an opinion, and some will be valid and some won’t be. From my point of view my first responsibility was a duty of care to AJ on the night, and I think I did my job.”