After losing his unified world heavyweight titles in a shock defeat against Ruiz on June 1, Joshua conjured up a boxing masterclass to reclaim them in Saudi Arabia last Saturday.
Joshua, 30, jabbed and weaved his way to a unanimous points victory – and many believe his classy display was largely down to Fernandez.
Along with Wolverhampton-based coach Joby Clayton, the Spaniard, who specialises in the technical side of the sweet science, was brought in to work alongside Rob McCracken for the rematch.
“He (Joshua) was very, very relaxed. I never saw a man thinking ‘everyone’s eyes are on me’. Nah, nah, nah, nah. I don’t think he actually felt that pressure,” Fernandez said in an exclusive interview with Starsport.
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“Very, very, very relaxed. Very relaxed. And the sparring is exactly the same, exactly the same, as he did in the fight.
“Me watching the fight was [the same as] me watching him in the sparring sessions. It’s just like, wow.
“I said that to him after the fight. ‘Watching you there is what you’ve done in the past x amount of sparring sessions.’
“And we kind of made him keep thinking that way as well. I said ‘listen, it’s gonna be a sparring session, but a different opponent. Just keep doing what you have been doing. You have been learning, you have been studying and now it’s down to you to do the fight yourself. You know you have been well prepared, you’ve been studying everything, and it’s just taking it as it is.’
“And he nailed it. He absolutely nailed it.”
Joshua will now look to defend his titles in 2020 with Oleksandr Uysk, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Kubrat Pulev among his potential opponents.
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