Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua was concussed in his fight with Andy Ruiz (Picture: Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua’s trainer has admitted that he knew his fighter was concussed during his bout with Andy Ruiz in June, but ‘tried to get him through a few more rounds’.

Joshua was stopped by Ruiz in the seventh round of their fight at Madison Square Garden in New York in one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight boxing in recent years.

There were numerous theories as to why AJ had turned in a below-par performance against the Destroyer, and trainer Robert McCraken has put the loss down to the former champion suffering concussion during the fight.

‘I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice,’ McCraken told BBC’s 5Live boxing podcast. ‘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


‘Can he recover? Can he get back into this? But he was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with that initial shot in round three and he carried that with him up until the end.

‘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.’

Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz
Joshua will rematch Ruiz in December (Picture: Getty Images)

McCraken, who is vastly experience in boxing, having trained the Team GB Olympic team and former super middleweight world champion Carl Froch in a hugely successful career.

However, he has come in for heavy criticism after admitting that he let Joshua continue to fight concussed, with brain injury charity Headway saying the consequences could have been disastrous for the boxer.

‘It’s a shocking admission but it’s highly unlikely that this is an isolated incident,’ Headway deputy chief executive Luke Griggs told SunSport.

‘Trainers have a duty of care to their boxers and it seems clear that Anthony Joshua’s trainer’s sole priority was winning that fight, not protecting the fighter from a potentially fatal injury.

‘We know once you’ve had a concussion, any subsequent blow can exacerbate the damage. You are most at risk of having a particularly serious or fatal brain injury if the brain has already been damaged and a concussion has already been sustained. One wonders how many deaths in the ring over the years have resulted from a win-at-all-costs mentality.’


Joshua fights Ruiz in a bid to reclaim the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles on 7 December in Saudi Arabia.

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