Anthony Joshua column: ‘Rob McCracken is my answer to Alex Ferguson’


n Saturday night, I have to win… it’s that simple. If I don’t, I’ve got nothing else.

It’s another title defence for me and, again, I only see the fight going one way because I’ve done everything in my power to be prepared for it from sparring 12 rounds using just my left hand to stripping everything down to the basics.

It’s been pure hard work and people will see the evidence of that in the ring. I feel ready, and I feel a better fighter than before.

I’m always trying to get better, every day learning something new, adding to my craft because you’re never the finished article. You can always get better.

A tight and trusted team around me has got me to this point, pretty much all the same guys who’ve been with me from the start.

Rob McCracken’s central to that, and the Olympics brought a different twist to things with him out in Tokyo and away from it all for a time in the summer.

The way technology is these days, all the sparring was recorded so he could watch all that footage and there were zoom calls and old-school phone calls too. So, the idea that he was suddenly detached from it all was wrong – he was still heavily involved and, for the rest of us, it was business as usual.

Him coming back home gave me an added boost. Sure, we missed the structure he brings with him. He knows better than anyone what I need – whether that’s 10, 12 or 15 rounds – and more importantly getting me back into the ring again after a tough session.

Sportsmen and women like to have a coach they want to work for… and Rob’s just that. He’s like in that Sir Alex Ferguson mould, everyone believes in him and there’s a good team around him. He’s a big part in motivating me every day in training.

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