/Anthony Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken slammed after admitting he knew fighter was concussed during Andy Ruiz

Anthony Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken slammed after admitting he knew fighter was concussed during Andy Ruiz

Rob McCracken has been accused of putting Anthony Joshua’s life in danger after admitting he knew his fighter was concussed during his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.

The Brit was shocked at Madison Square Garden back on June 1 when the little-fancied Mexican-American stopped him in the seventh round.

Joshua’s trainer, McCracken, has since conceded he was aware AJ had suffered a concussion after being dropped in the third but allowed him to fight on.

Ruiz Jr pulled off one of boxing’s biggest ever shocks when he beat Joshua in June

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Ruiz Jr pulled off one of boxing’s biggest ever shocks when he beat Joshua in June

McCracken said: “I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice.

“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.

“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.”

Those comments sparked criticism from leading brain charity Headway, who accused the experienced trainer of being more focused on winning than the Watford-born star’s health.

Headway chief Luke Griggs told SunSport: “It’s a shocking admission but it’s highly unlikely that this is an isolated incident.

“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.

McCracken has been Joshua’s trainer throughout his amateur and professional career

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McCracken has been Joshua’s trainer throughout his amateur and professional career

“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.

“In that point, he was particularly vulnerable to a more serious injury. One wonders how many deaths in the ring over the years have resulted from a win-at-all-costs mentality.”

Joshua, who will rematch Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on December 7, was heard asking McCracken ‘why am I feeling like this?’ between rounds.

Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr exchanged words during their face-off last week

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Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr exchanged words during their face-off last week

Headway’s Griggs added: “In every other major sport, concussion protocols state that once a concussion has been suspected, the player must be removed and not allowed to return. “Every blow to the head delivered by a fit, strong, technically gifted boxer has the potential to cause a concussion.

“In addition, you’ve got boxers who are praised for their bravery. In Tyson Fury’s last fight, he was praised for somehow defying a count and we’re praising that. We’re celebrating the fact that he beat the count.

“In that time, the referee is tasked with deciding whether or not they are fit to continue.

“You are basically asking the referee to conduct an impromptu concussion assessment with all these people watching, in too short a period of time and when they are not qualified to do so.

“You seem them staggering around on their feet and the referee says ‘show me your strength in your gloves’. But they’re staggering!

“Concussion protocols in boxing are not worth the paper they are written on.”