Anthony Joshua’s training partner and fast-rising heavyweight prospect Frazer Clarke has revealed what it is like to work under Robert Garcia. The Olympic bronze-medallist has affirmed that the legendary trainer demands ‘discipline’ and has rules that must be abided by.
Every fighter must get to the gym on time, work on what they’re told to work on, spar how they’re told to spar and follow the tactics and game plans set for them. If anyone fails to do anything less, then Garcia will send them packing and is not afraid to crack the whip.
Speaking to Express Sport, Clarke said: “He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy and I don’t think anyone will begrudge me for saying this but when you become as successful as Anthony maybe you do slightly go off of the path of what you think you can do. But with Robert Garcia you get to the gym on time, you work in the gym on what you’re told to do, you spar how you’re told to spar, follow the tactics, if not you’re going to get an earful, or a mouthful and you might even get on a flight and go home.
“I think he brought a lot of discipline with that old head in the camp where you have to show respect because you know what he’s done. So, I think he humbled everyone and that’s not just Anthony, that’s the whole team in general, everyone had a standard to get up to and that was Robert Garcia’s standard.”
Garcia joined ‘AJ’s’ team after the Watford powerhouse axed long-time Rob McCracken following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in September. Throughout camp, he has worked alongside Angel Fernandez who initially worked as an assistant coach with Joby Clayton under McCracken for Joshua’s last three outings.
For the Usyk rematch, Fernandez has been given a more influential role and is sharing the main responsibilities with Garcia. But according to Clarke – who is trained by Fernandez in Loughborough – the Spaniard has been overlooked since Garcia’s introduction.
He continued: “Again with the Robert Garcia thing, people have read into it too much, like ‘Robert Garcia’s come in and flipped it on its head’. Angel Fernandez for me is still the main man, he’s been with Joshua for the last couple of fights and he came into this camp when there was no Robert Garcia for a long time.
MORE BOXING NEWS…
Boxing tonight: Schedules, live streams, times for AJ, Smith
Why is Usyk vs Joshua being shown for free in Ukraine?
Joshua vs Usyk radio coverage: How to listen to the fight for free
“Robert Garcia came in as an experienced head that has been in this situation before so first of all credit to Angel because a lot of coaches would have had an ego about it and said, ‘you know what, no chance, I’m not taking someone else’s opinion’. Angel was very open-minded and then it just happened that they clicked very well.
“They very much had the same game plan, same methods of training, there’s obviously switches because everyone is their own individual. But what Robert has brought to the camp is definitely an expertise of being in big situations, big fight situations and he’s also worked with Usyk. A lot of people don’t realise, Usyk was in his gym for a long time. Whether you take that as an advantage or not, maybe it is or maybe it’s not, but he might have seen something that others haven’t seen.”
- Frazer Clarke will be joining Carl Froch and Dave Coldwell on August 20 for the Usyk vs Joshua rematch on Sky Sports Box Office. The event can be purchased for £26.95 via the Sky Sports website.