EXCLUSIVE Anthony Joshua wants to be number one – fighting Deontay Wilder is part of that

Anthony Joshua
Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom
Rob McCracken speaks to John Dennen about Anthony Joshua, the undisputed crown and an extraordinary legacy in the sport

DEONTAY WILDER is part of Anthony Joshua’s masterplan. If the unified WBA and IBF heavyweight champion beats Joseph Parker next week and adds the WBO belt to his collection, expect Joshua to hunt down WBC titlist Wilder.

Speaking exclusively to Boxing News, Rob McCracken, Anthony Joshua’s trainer said, “I think he just wants to prove himself as the number one and beating Parker and then obviously fighting Wilder is part of doing that. At the same time, like I say, all that matters is the Parker fight and he has got to win that. Everything else doesn’t matter if you don’t win that. He’s got to win that fight and Parker’s going to come and be a serious test. It’s one to look forward to. It’ll be a great fight.”

For Anthony Joshua to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, and win all four major titles in the division, would mark a milestone in British boxing history. As a side note if Rob McCracken steered him to the complete takeover of the heavyweight division, he too would leave a remarkable legacy as a boxing coach. Not only did he guide Carl Froch through a brilliant career at super-middleweight, he’s also been performance director for two of Britain’s most successful Olympic teams.

McCracken’s first Olympic squad won five medals at London 2012 (including Anthony Joshua’s super-heavyweight gold). The class of 2016 won three medals (including Nicola Adams’ second gold and Joe Joyce’s 91&kgs silver, which ought to have been ruled a gold (at the risk of carping Savannah Marshall was bitterly unlucky not to get a bronze at Rio)). If GB were to win another host of medals at Tokyo 2020, his tenure as performance director will be hard to top.

Anthony Joshua

“It would be fantastic. I’m very passionate about GB boxing, Olympic boxing. We have a great team here, tremendous coaches and support staff. The boxers have been absolutely brilliant over the time that I’ve been here, the number of years that I’ve been here and this group are no different. It’s always a team effort, a lot of people play a part in it. I’m lucky to be involved, lucky to be leading it. Certainly we’ve got a strong team of coaches and support staff that will try and drive boxers on and help them fulfil their potential,” McCracken said.

“Tokyo will be off the chart. It will be absolutely brilliant. Hopefully we’ll be there and it’ll be brilliant to have qualified boxers there competing for medals. If you’re a boxing fan and you love boxing, which I do, there’s no better thing to be involved in than the Olympic Games. In Olympic boxing and open boxing [or amateur boxing] Olympic Games is the pinnacle of an Olympic boxer’s career and to win a medal is something special.”

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