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Anthony Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken insists that the wellness of his boxers is of»paramount importance».
McCracken told the BBC Boxing podcast that he»understood Joshua had been concussed» in the next round against Andy Ruiz Jr in June, but let him struggle on until his seventh-round loss.
Brain injury charity Headway called it a»shocking admission».
«I’m not a physician and it could be that concussed is not the right expression to have used,» McCracken said on Thursday.
«The health of all the boxers I use is of overriding importance to me personally and I have always used my judgement and experience to do what is ideal for them.
«There is not any formal concussion protocol where the doctor steps in to assess the fighter so you must use your expertise as a mentor and your understanding of the person to make a determination on if you think they could recuperate.
«I’ve had this a number of times in my career in professional boxing where I’ve recovered from a difficult round to go on and win the fight. I also have pulled boxers out of fights because I understood it wasn’t in their interests to continue.»
Ahead of the round, where he was stopped by his Mexican-American competition, Joshua appeared puzzled in his corner and said to McCracken:»Why am I feeling like this?»
McCracken has been supported by GB Boxing.
«Anyone who has ever seen him perform knows he has got the best interests of the boxers in mind,» a spokesperson said.
«Ensuring we deliver a responsibility of care and safeguard the physical and mental health of the boxers is fundamental to how Rob McCracken has headed the world programme for most both boxing during the previous 10 decades.»
Prior to McCracken’s statement on Thursday, Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive of Headway, had stated:»Trainers have a duty of care to their boxers and it seems obvious that Anthony Joshua’s coach’s only priority has been winning that struggle, not shielding the fighter from a potentially fatal injury.»
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