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Garcia Admitted Anthony Joshua Was Mentally Defeated Since Round 10 – The trainer Robert Garcia, who has accompanied Anthony Joshua since eight months before the Usyk rematch, admitted the fighter was mentally defeated in round 10. He realized it when Oleksandr Usyk came back strong after a big ninth round for AJ in which they thought would win the fight.

“Joshua was mentally defeated since round 10 or 11,” Rober Garcia told Izquierdazo. “Round 10 was a big one for Usyk. That changed the whole fight, and mentally we were defeated. At that point, we were relying on a good shot or something like that, because Anthony is a hard puncher, and one shot can change a fight. That is what we were hopping for, one shot, because he (AJ) was dominated at that point of the fight.”

Joshua lost by way of split decision to Usyk, who successfully defended his IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight belts after staging a late surge against the British challenger. Garcia claims his fighter was his own worst enemy as Usyk lifted himself from the tenth round, which entirely changed the complexion of the bout.

Robert Garcia is confident Anthony Joshua will beat Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch
Robert Garcia believed they had the fight until Usyk came alive in the final three rounds.

According to Garcia, Joshua’s team told themselves the fight was theirs to lose in the ninth round, and the American trainer has since questioned the Brit’s mental strength at the highest level.

“The fight was going well for us, but the tenth round changed everything,” Garcia said. “The last three rounds of the fight were the ones that changed the fight. In the ninth round we were close to winning, perhaps even by knockout. Through round nine, we were winning the fight on judges scorecards, but it was decided in the last rounds. Usyk is a great fighter, with a tremendous heart, who knows how to finish strong, like champions do.”

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“During that ninth round, me and the guys in the corner were telling ourselves that we had the fight. But nothing is secured until the final bell. Usyk came back stronger in the tenth round and that changed the fight.

He said AJ’s corner believed they had the fight until Usyk came alive in the final three rounds
Usyk successfully defended his IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight belts after staging a late surge against AJ.

“I have even thought in these last few days that it was Anthony Joshua who mentally defeated himself. In the ninth, Joshua threw a lot of punches and almost put Usyk out. Maybe he emptied [his tank], but maybe it was just that Usyk came stronger and more motivated to the tenth round, we don’t know.

“In this fight, I think that Usyk was mentally stronger. I think he was stronger, to the point that after being close to a knockout, instead of giving up, he came back stronger. His will and his desire to demonstrate to his country that he couldn’t let himself lose the fight, made him come back.

“He wanted to give a message to his country, for everything that is happening there. He is a big inspiration for them [Ukrainians]. His mind was what made him turn the tide in the fight and get him to victory. And I think that Anthony’s mind is a bit weaker than Usyk’s, because instead of going out stronger, his mind and exhaustion played games with him.

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“Because of my own experience, I can notice when a fighter is mentally defeated. In such a situation, instructions don’t work, because the fighter is not listening anymore, his mind collapses. What we did with Anthony was trying to motivate him and not giving instructions on how to win the fight. You have to instill images, like his family, to switch him on, but that didn’t work either.”

Garcia is right, Usyk is a great fighter who knows how to finish a fight like a champion does. Particularly in response to AJ’s throw belts moment.

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