Anthony Joshua to leave Rob McCracken's gym for Oleksandr Usyk rematch as Eddie Hearn says Brit needs to be 'roughed up'

ANTHONY JOSHUA has left his cushy Team GB Sheffield base to toughen up for a shot at rematch revenge over Oleksandr Usyk.

The 32-year-old has not yet confirmed his split with trainer and mentor Rob McCracken.


But SunSport does not expect the coaching mastermind to follow AJ away from the English Institute of Sport, where he is a hero to all the amateur prospects.

The 2012 Olympic legend visited a handful of American gyms and trainers after the punishing September loss and promoter Eddie Hearn expects a new regime to be implemented for the New Year.

Ahead of Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker 2, Hearn said: “Rob’s in Sheffield and that’s his base. 

“I feel it might be time to move on from that environment because when you’ve been there since you were 18 and you go into GB and Anthony Joshua is everywhere, he’s a god.

“I just feel it’s time to rough him up a little bit, not in log cabins in the middle of nowhere. But up there it’s ‘oh my God, it’s AJ!’ because they’re proud of him.

“Rob is not necessarily gone. That’s a conversation for those guys and it’s very difficult because is more than just a trainer, he’s a mentor to him, an advisor, a friend.

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“It’s not just about who’s training him, it’s about where that’s going to take place.

“He’s talking to people and I think he will make a decision early in the new year.”

Hearn, 42, has just arrived back from a business trip in Dubai where he spent time with the 34-year-old Ukraine southpaw who dethroned our ace in Tottenham.

And the meeting has helped nail down a predicted month for the rematch, with the mega-money Middle East making offers but Hearn preferring a shot at redemption in the UK.

“I would rather AJ got the opportunity to put it right in the UK

He said: “I’ve just done a couple of rounds of site visits and you’ve got to talk to people. 

"I like it in the UK. Spurs was great, whether it’s there or Wembley.

“I would rather AJ got the opportunity to put it right in the UK frankly.

“I have just come back from the Middle East, just speaking to a few people. 

"Again it’s always a half a dozen approaches from out there and you’ve got to filter through them and see what’s real and what’s not.”

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