‘Whoever said that is a clown!’ Anthony Joshua hits out at critics of coach Rob McCracken

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Anthony Joshua has hit out at those claiming he should ditch his head coach Rob McCracken following his upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Anthony Joshua suffered a devastating seventh-round TKO loss to the Mexican-American on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Defeat to Ruiz Jr – a late replacement for the disgraced Jarrell Miller – saw Joshua lose his grip on the WBA (Super), WBO and IBF heavyweight titles.

The fall out from Joshua’s first professional loss saw many fans, boxing pundits and former fighters call for Joshua to part company with McCracken.

Joshua has been angered by the calls for him to give McCracken the boot and has questioned the loyalties of the former boxers who have called for him to change coach.

“Whoever said that is a clown,” the 29-year-old said on Sky Sports’ AJ: The Untold Truth. “Part ways with McCracken? No way. These people don’t understand loyalty.

“These people aren’t cut from the same cloth, if that’s what they are suggesting. Whoever has that mindset should not bother talking to me, if they have that mindset.

“How could they say that? I’ve worked with two people in boxing – Sean Murphy, my trainer [at Finchley amateur gym].

“Then a year-and-a-half later I was up to Sheffield training with Rob McCracken.

“They have built me, aside from boxing, as the man I am today. A father, a family man, a businessman who understands the responsibility of being a young African-British kid. They built that in me.

“You can’t take that away. You can take the belts away – they will be gone when I retire. The man that they built? You can’t take that away.

“The man that will help to inspire my kids and other kids? You can’t take that away.

“I should never get rid of those types of people. Because I lost the belts I should get rid of the people that built me? No way. It’s shallow-minded, small-minded.

“Mike Tyson could have lost to anyone but you can’t get rid of [his coach] Cus D’Amato.

“People do not truly understand what these people mean to your life.”

Former IBF and WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan was one of those calling for Joshua to ditch McCracken, telling Express Sport: “I think it might be a very good idea for him to change coach.

“Making a change definitely helps. It brings a new perspective and a freshness to the camp.

“It makes you work on new things you’ve never worked on before. A new voice in the corner definitely helps.”

Joshua will have the opportunity to avenge his defeat to Ruiz Jr on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.

The venue for the rematch, however, is currently up in the air as Ruiz Jr has insisted the bout will take place in the United States

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