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'I am not a doctor': Anthony Joshua's trainer walks back 'shocking' concussion admission

'I am not a doctor': Anthony Joshua's trainer walks back 'shocking' concussion admission
Rob McCracken, trainer for former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has backtracked on a statement he made on a boxing podcast in which he said that Joshua was concussed in the third round of his defeat to Andy Ruiz.

McCracken told the BBC Boxing podcast that he "knew Joshua was concussed" in the third round of his upset defeat to Ruiz in June prompting criticism brain injury charity Headway to declare the statement a "shocking admission".

Joshua was sent to the canvas on numerous occasions during the bout in Madison Square Garden which was the Brit's United States debut, including twice in a particularly punishing third round and McCracken told the BBC that he was aware his fighter was facing a "deadly situation".

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"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," McCracken said last Sunday. 

"He was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with the initial shot in the third round and he carried that with him until the end [iof the fight]... he wasn't responding how he should."

Prior to the start of the seventh round Joshua was caught on the broadcast asking his team "Why am I feeling like this?". The fight would end around 90 seconds later.

Responding to the criticism, McCracken said that the health of his fighters is his primary concern during a bout.

"I am not a doctor and it may be that concussed is not the right term to have used," he said. "The health of all the boxers I work with is of paramount importance to me and I have always used my judgement and experience to do what is right for them.

"There is no formal concussion protocol where the doctor steps in to assess the boxer so you have to use your experience as a coach and your knowledge of the person to make a decision on whether you think they can recover.

"I have had this a number of times in my career in professional boxing where boxers have recovered from a difficult round to go on and win the fight. I have also pulled boxers out of fights because I knew it was not in their interests to continue."

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Charity group Headway were heavily critical of McCracken's initial comments, saying prior to his Thursday statement: "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."

Joshua and Ruiz are scheduled to rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7.

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