Anthony Joshua's trainer clarifies comments: 'Concussed' may not have been right term to use

By Thomas Lott 13 September 2019 272
Anthony Joshua's trainer clarifies comments: 'Concussed' may not have been right term to use

Anthony Joshua's trainer said he knew the heavyweight was concussed in an interview with BBC, but he has backtracked on those comments.

Rob McCracken said his choice of words may not have been correct when assessing Joshua's state in his TKO loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June.

"I am not a doctor and it may be that concussed is not the right term to have used," McCracken said Thursday, via "The health of all the boxers I work with is of paramount importance to me and I have always used my judgment and experience to do what is right for them.

"There is no formal concussion protocol where the doctor steps in to assess the boxer so you have to use your experience as a coach and your knowledge of the person to make a decision on whether you think they can recover. I have had this a number of times in my career in professional boxing where boxers have recovered from a difficult round to go on and win the fight. I have also pulled boxers out of fights because I knew it was not in their interests to continue."

McCracken stated on a BBC podcast before that he "knew" Joshua was concussed in the third round of the fight when Joshua was knocked down twice by Ruiz.

"I know him better than all these experts who virtually don't know him or have met him once or twice," he said. "So I knew he was concussed and I'm trying to get him through a few more rounds, one round at a time, and see where he's at.

"He was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with the initial shot in the third round and he carried that with him until the end (in the seventh round)... he wasn't responding how he should. I've worked with him for nine years and I knew he wasn't quite where he needed to be. He was asking me why he was feeling this way and stuff."

Great Britain Boxing backed McCracken after his comments caused a bit of a stir.

"Anyone who has ever seen him work knows that he has the best interests of the boxers at heart," a spokesperson said, via BBC. "Ensuring we deliver a duty of care and protect the physical and mental health of the boxers is central to the way that Rob McCracken has led the world class programme for boxing over the last 10 years."

Joshua and Ruiz are set for a rematch in December in Saudi Arabia.

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Thomas Lott