Anthony Joshua cruised to victory against Andy Ruiz Jr because he didn’t feel any pressure, according to the Brit’s trainer, Angel Fernandez.
After losing his unified world heavyweight titles in a shock defeat against Ruiz on June 1, Joshua conjured up a boxing masterclass to reclaim them in Saudi Arabia last week Saturday.
The 30-year-old jabbed and wove his way to a unanimous points victory — and many believe his classy display was largely down to Fernandez.
Along with Wolverhampton-based coach Joby Clayton, the Spaniard, who specialises in the technical side of boxing, was brought in to work alongside Rob McCracken for the rematch.
In an interview with Starsport, Fernandez explains why Joshua was so cool, calm and collected at the Diriyah Arena.
“He was very, very relaxed. I never saw a man thinking ‘everyone’s eyes are on me’. Nah, nah, nah, nah. I don’t think he actually felt that pressure,” he says.
“Very, very, very relaxed. Very relaxed. And the sparring is exactly the same, exactly the same, as he did in the fight.
“Me watching the fight was [the same as] me watching him in the sparring sessions. It’s just like, wow.
“I said to him after the fight: ‘Watching you there is what you’ve done in the past x amount of sparring sessions.’
“And we kind of made him keep thinking that way as well.
“I said, ‘Listen, it’s gonna be a sparring session, but a different opponent. Just keep doing what you have been doing.
“You have been learning, you have been studying and now it’s down to you to do the fight yourself.
“You know you have been well prepared, you’ve been studying everything, and it’s just taking it as it is.’
“And he nailed it. He absolutely nailed it.” Punch
Pix: Joshua before the fight with Ruiz