Anthony Joshua slammed by Carl Froch for criticising ex-coach Rob McCracken

McCracken coached ‘AJ’ and Froch to world titles, but Joshua has since teamed with Robert Garcia and Derrick James

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Wednesday 19 July 2023 14:40 BST
Anthony Joshua uses mattress as punch bag to train for next fight

Carl Froch has hit out at Anthony Joshua for criticising the pair’s former coach Rob McCracken, while also accusing the heavyweight of making a ‘b***h move’.

Joshua is preparing for an August rematch with Dillian Whyte, eight years after knocking out his fellow Briton, and the fight will mark “AJ”’s second bout under coach Derrick James. Before teaming with James for a points win over Jermaine Franklin in April, Joshua fought under Robert Garcia in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk last summer.

Joshua, 33, fell to a decision defeat by Usyk, just as he did in 2021 in his final fight with McCracken in his corner. Speaking on the Boxing News Podcast last weekend, Joshua said of his ex-coach, who took him to two world-title reigns and an Olympic gold medal, “Rob’s a really good coach. The only thing I’ll say, though, is: Look at Froch’s nose. [McCracken] just didn’t teach me defence.

“I was getting hit way too much with clean shots... Rob was too committed to the Olympic team, not the pro team. I gave Rob my best years, and now I’ve got to dig deep to get them back again.”

The retired Froch, 46, became unified super-middleweight champion under McCracken, and he has hit back at Joshua while defending their former coach.

Froch told Talksport on Tuesday (18 July): “For a grown man to try and personally insult another grown man on his physical appearance, for me that’s a b***h move. I sincerely hope he’s talking about the old nose, not the new reconstructed piece of artwork that I’m carrying round on my face at the minute, because I’m actually quite happy with this nose.

“But my nose aside and my aesthetic features aside, I’m looking at this as a real dig at Rob McCracken, [... who] guided him to an Olympic gold medal in 2012, Olympic champion. He’s working with someone who’s not a natural fighter in Anthony Joshua, not had that amateur pedigree as a schoolboy coming through. He did a fantastic job.

“And [Joshua] has got the audacity and the disrespect to say that he wasted years with Rob McCracken, and he didn’t teach him defence. For me, that’s disgusting. There’s no comeback from that for me, for AJ.

Carl Froch, in his final fight, retained his super-middleweight titles against George Groves in 2014 (Peter Byrne/PA)
Carl Froch, in his final fight, retained his super-middleweight titles against George Groves in 2014 (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)

“I’m not gonna hold it against him, because he’s done what he feels is right for him, and he’s having a little personal dig at me, which is fine... It’s out of order what he said about Rob McCracken, I think he’ll probably regret saying what he said. I’m not gonna hold it against him, but I think it’s properly disrespectful to a guy that took him to the Olympic title and two world titles.”

Joshua’s rematch with Whyte will take place at London’s O2 Arena on 12 August, with both men looking to build upon wins against Franklin last time out. Before Joshua outpointed the American in April, Whyte beat Franklin via decision in November.

Joshua vs Whyte in August will be the Britons’ third clash, with Whyte having beaten Joshua in the amateurs before the latter won via knockout in their professional rematch.

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