EXCLUSIVE: New AJ coach Angel Fernandez on Rob McCracken dynamic
Angel Fernandez seems to have worked his way into being an integral part of Anthony Joshua’s team following his great work in the Briton becoming two-time world heavyweight champion.
Joshua regained his titles from an overweight Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia, with Fernandez drafted in after a shock defeat previously in New York.
Fernandez explained the link-up to WBN in the first part of an exclusive interview.
Elaborating further, the London-based coach talked about working with Team GB coach and Joshua manager Rob McCracken.
“It’s been good. A good experience for me,” Fernandez told WBN. “It’s a different approach to training so for me. Even though I’ve got my own system of training.
“I feel comfortable as well to be in my own gym, with my set-up and things like that so going to Sheffield for me, and working with a different kind of system, it helps to get better as a coach.
“But Rob has been very welcoming since day one and we’ve got to know each other a lot more as we went along. Especially when we went to Saudi and started having breakfast together, lunch together, dinner together and hanging around together.
“That, I think, kind of got me to know him a little deeper. I was like wow, the man is quite nice. But I have to thank him as well because he was the one that had to agree at the end of the day.
“I will always be grateful (to Rob) for the opportunity, really.”
On how they prepared collectively for the job at hand, Fernandez added: “It was a team effort.
“From day one, the day we moved to Sheffield or when camp first started in London the first couple of weeks, the third week I think we went to Sheffield we just sat down – the coaches together.
“We watched fights of Ruiz and put the points together. We’d just ask the people around. What do you think? Would you change anything?
“In the end, we took what each person could bring to the table and we went from there,” he concluded.
Putting on what promoter Eddie Hearn labeled ‘a masterclass performance’, Joshua danced his way back into the mix at the top of the division.
Two mandatories are already set before Joshua can even think about facing Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury or even Ruiz Jr. again.
Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk are next in line as Wilder and Fury complete their proposed trilogy saga.
It’s now highly likely Joshua will be back on home soil in the comforts of London once again for his next outing.
‘AJ’ is undefeated in the UK and has taken care of business handily on each occasion. He’s most likely to revert to type after that shocking loss to Ruiz.
Should Joshua venture outside of Great Britain again, it may way well be to his ancestral home in Nigeria.
If things work out over the next twelve months, Joshua could still be holding onto his titles by 2021. And be in a firm position for those super-fights everyone craves.
Fernandez, for one, could be a major cog in that wheel of success.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay (article transcribed by Assistant Editor).