Anthony Joshua warned not to rush into fight with hard-hitting Deontay Wilder

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Anthony Joshua warned not to rush into fight with hard-hitting Deontay Wilder
Anthony Joshua warned not to rush into fight with hard-hitting Deontay Wilder

Anthony Joshua's former coach Robert Garcia has warned him not to rush into a fight with Deontay Wilder.

The former world heavyweight champions didn't fight each other when they held all four belts between them, but fans are still keen to see them square up this year after a collective five losses in their last eight fights. They are both heavy-hitters, which would leave to an entertaining bout, but neither could afford a knockout loss.

And Joshua's ex-trainer, who coached him once for his Oleksandr Usyk rematch last August before the Brit decided to move on to a different camp, believes he should approach his comeback slowly. The former champion is expected to fight twice this year before finishing off with a super-fight against the likes of Wilder or his long-time rival Tyson Fury.

“One thing that I told them, and I tell them again now, is that I don’t recommend them to look for a big fight [like Wilder or Fury] immediately”, Garcia told IZQUIERDAZO. “Anthony is a huge star in Europe, one of the biggest in history. He should look for two or three fights a little more adequate, I don’t want to say easy, because there are no easy fights, but he needs a more adequate fight.

“He needs to regain confidence, and get used to a new trainer, because it was a big challenge to get a new trainer and go directly against Usyk, as was in my case. It's not only a challenge for AJ, but also for me, to go into a rematch after being dominated in the first fight. It was difficult."

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Asked how he feels a fight between Joshua and Wilder would go under the right circumstances, Garcia explained: “I think that is a fight that wouldn’t go to the scorecards - both of them hit hard. Many may think that Wilder is going to knock out AJ, but I think that whoever hits first [wins].

Anthony Joshua warned not to rush into fight with hard-hitting Deontay WilderAnthony Joshua was coached by Robert Garcia for just one fight (Getty Images)

Do you want to see Anthony Joshua fight Deontay Wilder next, or ease into his return? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

"I worked with Anthony, and he hits hard. I have never felt Wilder’s power, but it looks like a hard punch. But Anthony’s punching power is very strong. I think that he has the same punching power, it can’t be less strong than Wilder. So I think that whoever hits first [wins].”

Joshua has yet to confirm his new training team, having split from long-time coach Rob McCracken to join up with Garcia for just one bout. And he believes that in order to get comfortable with whomever he decides to make his new coach, Joshua must first ease himself into things with a number of easier fights.

“With any trainer, if they pick two or three comfortable fights, I think that AJ will look well with any trainer in those fights”, Garcia continued. “He will regain a little more confidence, and get used to his new trainer. I think that is what he should do, and that is what he should have done when I came to work with him, but he decided to go for the big fight immediately and we didn’t get the win."

Donagh Corby

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