Anthony Joshua says he's
Anthony Joshua says he's "learned to take a loss like a man".

Joshua bites back at trainer criticism ahead of Ruiz rematch

ANTHONY Joshua has launched an impassioned defence of trainer Rob McCracken following the criticism that followed the boxer's stunning knockout loss to Andy Ruiz in June.

Joshua insists he never considered replacing McCracken, who will once again be in the corner for the 30-year-old's rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7 (December 8 AEDT).

McCracken's tactics were heavily criticised by former world champion Lennox Lewis, among others, while the trainer's admission that he allowed Joshua to fight on despite fearing he was concussed also drew criticism.

But Joshua, who has had McCracken by his side since he first joined the GB Boxing set-up in Sheffield in 2010, insists the trainer's influence is strong and important enough to prosper even in the wake of such a stunning setback.

"Rob is more than a trainer," he said. "He helped me when I got kicked off the GB squad and they didn't want me back on but Rob spoke up for me.

"It's good to have someone around you who can guide you through the snakes and sharks of the industry. Rob has been through it all himself and there are years of understanding between us."

"There are a million pad men out there but you have to be selective about who can guide you."

Joshua has armed himself with a keen sense of perspective in the months following his loss to Ruiz -  a late replacement who was considered a mere stepping stone to bigger unification bouts against Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

He insists training back at the GB headquarters in Sheffield, where his international career began amid budget hotel stays and strict training sessions, will give him a crucial advantage as he seeks to resurrect his career.

"I've learned a lot of things from the defeat," Joshua said.

"I've learned to take a loss like a man and to be thankful that I have a second opportunity to go again."

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News Corp Australia

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