THE role of a boxing trainer is a difficult one. It’s one where your reputation is at the mercy of others. The hours you put in behind the scenes, which can add up to days and weeks and months and years, are often forgotten the moment a contest doesn’t go to plan. If your fighter has an off night, so do you. Your job is suddenly at risk.
In the last week Robert McCracken and Ben Davison, the coaches of Britain’s two leading heavyweights, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury respectively, found themselves in the firing line.
McCracken, who was unfairly criticised for Joshua’s loss to Andy Ruiz Jnr in June (specifically, for not unearthing a masterplan mid-fight to turn the tide), recently told Steve Bunce during BBC 5 Live’s excellent weekly podcast that his heavyweight was ‘concussed’ after taking a hefty whack in round three of that bout. Of course, he couldn’t possibly have known if Joshua was concussed or not, but he knew he was hurt. Therefore, McCracken explained, he decided that basic and clear messaging during the one-minute breaks was more beneficial than trying to get his dazed charge to understand complicated tactical advice.