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Anthony Joshua takes a two-hour nap the day of a fight and drinks caffeine before entering the ring

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Anthony Joshua takes two hours of naps the day of a fight and caffeine before entering the ring. Mind, body, nutrition and sleep are the secrets of the world heavyweight champion’s achievements

  • Physio Rob Madden provided insight into Anthony Joshua’s battle preparations
  • Joshua acclimates to late training with Rob McCracken and goes to bed at 1am
  • He takes a long nap on the day of a fight before activating the system with caffeine
  • Madden gave the inside track on the aftermath of Tyson Fury bout that fell through











After mixing strength and patience to oust mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, Anthony Joshua now has his eyes firmly set on undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

Rob Madden, Joshua’s physio and a key part of the team since turning pro in 2013, gave Sports post an insight into his preparations ahead of Saturday’s game.

“There are four main pillars of Joshua’s performance. His boxing and mental preparation, diet, physical preparation and then sleep and recovery,” said Madden.

Anthony Joshua tends to train late at night and goes to bed at 1am on the eve of a fight

Joshua's team makes sure his room is well soundproofed so he sleeps well before a fight

Joshua’s team makes sure his room is well soundproofed so he sleeps well before a fight

“Joshua is acclimated to late training with Rob McCracken because he’s sharp and charged so he goes to bed at 1am and naps during the day.

“The diet is on point, working with the cooks to make sure all the right nutrients come in to make his immune system robust. The food is also part of that joy and culture of being around him. It’s very relaxed.

‘My domain is physical preparation. He is also very good at doing things independently. Before and after the sessions he goes on the floor, does his foam rollers, rotations and yoga.

“For me, the biggest priority is his sleep. He comes in the ring, he has the media and all the spotlight, so it must be a real challenge to take out in fight week.

‘We make sure his room is well soundproofed, with the best possible beds, low temperatures and blackout blinds. We are doing everything we can to turn his room into a cold cave. That is of enormous importance.

“On the day of the fight, he will sleep for two hours and take a few hours of caffeine before entering the ring to activate his system. Mind, body, food and sleep. It’s like tires on a car. They all need to be blown up.’

After a sudden arbitration decided that he would not fight in Tyson Fury, Joshua had to adapt to the completely different proposition of the talented left-handed Usyk, who has fought mainly at cruiserweight.

Madden said: “The team has worked hard to find the right sparring partners, looking closely at left and lighter weights. Joshua has also adapted. He comes in a lot leaner for this fight. Usyk has great skills and everyone knows what a great fighter he is.”

Joshua should be no stranger to a change of opponent. He fought Carlos Takam on two weeks’ notice in 2017 and was stunned by Andy Ruiz Jr, who replaced the suspended Jarrell Miller two years ago.

Joshua had to adapt to another proposal from Usyk after his fight with Tyson Fury fell through

Joshua had to adapt to another proposal from Usyk after his fight with Tyson Fury fell through

“Joshua’s preparations for Ruiz have been phenomenal,” Madden said of his surprising loss. “He is certainly not out of training, despite the rumours. In the end, he paid the price for a close-up mistake.’

Madden also gave the inside track on the aftermath of the Fury bout that fell through — when the unification blockbuster contracts were seemingly written and signed.

“We were on track. For all we knew, it was going to happen. We had team meetings about when to start camp, we were discussing stadiums, and then all of a sudden we heard it was off,” explains Madden.

“It was a shock and hugely disappointing.

“Joshua really wanted to fight and was mentally ready, but he doesn’t live in the past.

“Once we knew the fight was dead, for now, Joshua went straight to Eddie Hearn to find another opponent and he’s completely focused on Usyk now.”

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