Trainer Manny Robles says he hasn’t heard from Andy Ruiz Jr. since just after his loss to Anthony Joshua on December 7, and he’s hoping that he’ll get in the gym and start training. It’s unknown if Andy will be dumping Robles in order to have someone to blame for the loss instead of looking in the mirror, and taking responsibility for the defeat.
Will Ruiz disappear into obscurity?
Robles says he texted Ruiz, but hasn’t heard back from him. Manny is hoping that Ruiz Jr. will start training again, because he wants his weight to get down to 250 or 255 lbs. He weighed in at 283 lbs for his loss to Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
According to Robles, they had an excellent game plan they wanted to implement for the rematch with Joshua, but Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) unfortunately was too heavy to follow it. Initially, Ruiz trained hard and lost 20 pounds at the start of the camp, but then he lost focus and didn’t put in the effort to get into the best possible shape. Robles reveals that Ruiz was calling off and skipping training days during camp.
Ruiz has talked about wanting a trilogy fight against Joshua, but Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn wants Andy to rebuild himself by facing Dillian Whyte. Thus far, there’s no word whether Ruiz will go along with Hearn’s plans for him fighting Whyte. If he does, he can’t can’t afford to come into the fight in the 280s again unless he wants to flush his career down the drain. An in shape Ruiz beats Whyte 365 days a year, but not the blob that showed up for the Joshua rematch.
Robles thought Joshua would stand and fight Ruiz more
“We thought at one point or another, he was going to stand there and fight, but that wasn’t what he trained for,” said Ruiz’s trainer Manny Robles to FightersRep about Joshua. “He trained to stick and move and box Andy, and I can respect that.
“I think we would have had a better chance if he had stopped and fought Andy, and he proved that whenever he did,” Robles said about Joshua. “Andy proved to be the stronger fighter and the better chin of the two. I think it was smart for Anthony Joshua to do what he did, and we commend him for it,” said Robles.
“I think we had a great strategy. We were pretty convinced that Joshua was going to come out there and box, and use his footwork, height and reach to keep Andy on the outside,” said Robles.
“We never thought he would come out and box as much as he did, and at one point or another we were going to try and make him fight, being the warrior that he is. But he stuck to the game plan, which was to box, and that’s it,” Robles said.
It’s crazy to believe that Robles actually thought that Joshua would stand in front of Ruiz, and slug with him in the December 7. Joshua’s weight loss alone was evidence enough to show that he was going to use movement against Andy, but Robles thought he would still slug.
To get an idea of how Joshua would fight, all Robles needed to do was watch his fight against Joseph Parker. Joshua used all kinds of movement in that fight, and failed to slug the way he normally had.
Ruiz Jr. was too heavy to follow game plan for Joshua fight
“I believe we had a great game plan, but there’s only so much you can do when you’re not 100%,” Robles said about Ruiz not being in good enough shape to implement his game plan. “When you come in that heavy, the plan is to cut off the ring and be explosive and wear him down, but how can you do that when you’re too big, and you don’t have the legs. And you don’t have the flexibility and mobility to go out and perform like you’re supposed to.
“255, I would have been happy [for Ruiz] to be at that weight. He was 257 for [Alexander] Dimitrenko. A little lighter would have been better at 250. 255 would have been ideal, but we all know what happened,” said Robles.
“We talked about it after the fight,” said Robles about Ruiz’s weight and conditioning. “He’s home now, and honestly, I haven’t talked to him. I sent him a message the other day to see how he’s doing, and I didn’t get a response. Not yet anyway,” said Robles.
It would be interesting to see if Ruiz Jr. keeps Robles or not. In a lot of cases when a fighter loses, they dump the coach, as they’ve got to have someone be the scapegoat to take responsibility for the loss.
Ruiz might as well have hoisted up the white flag of surrender when he marched into the rematch with Joshua weighing 283 lbs, because there was no way that he could get to him to land his shots carrying that much weight. For the first fight, Ruiz was overweight at 267 lbs, but he still won because Joshua left himself open for a counter left hook after dropping Andy in the 3rd round.
Robles wants Andy Ruiz Jr. to get to work
“What can I say? I’m here everyday. If he’s ready, let’s go to work,” Robles said about Ruiz Jr. “You try to make fighters understand, ‘Look, you’re at the world level. You’re at this position. Don’t blow it. You’ve got a great responsibility,’ but sometimes the fame and fortune is a bit overwhelming. He’s super talented. I knew that going into the first Joshua fight.
“Most people didn’t know who he was, but you see him in the gym,” said Robles of Ruiz. “You see what he’s doing to other fighters in sparring and in fights. He’s got a God given talent. It’s amazing, and he’s got power, he’s got flexibility, and he’s got great ring generalship, but he’s gotta want it. He’s got to go back to do some soul searching. And he’s tasted glory and defeat.
“Money isn’t everything. It helps, but it isn’t everything,” said Robles in talking about Ruiz being distracted from the money he’s made. “You want to leave a legacy. It’s up to Andy. If he wants it, I’m here. If you want it, let’s go get it again. Sometimes defeats are good. They make you wake up and realize what’s important, and to be hungry to make changes for the better,” said Robles.
The money more than anything may have destroyed Ruiz’s career, and he’s already being labeled a Buster Douglas 2.0 by many boxing fans. Douglas came out of nowhere to defeat Mike Tyson in February 1990, but then the money and fame ruined his career. Douglas was never the same fighter again after that victory. Ruiz might be in the same position.
Joshua is vulnerable now since his loss to Ruiz – Robles
“Absolutely,” said Robles when asked if Joshua is more vulnerable now since his loss to Ruiz. “With all due respect to Joshua, he showed that in the fight. You would have to be pretty naive not to see that. Also, if Andy had come into the fight at 100%, we would have had a much better performance, and better outcome,” said Robles.
“It’s disappointing. He said it himself after the fight that he didn’t prepare properly, and how he wasn’t in the gym like he should have been in the gym,” said Robles about Ruiz Jr. “I’m in the gym everyday, but if the fighter doesn’t show, what can I do? All I can do is to try and get him to come into the gym, and be responsible and disciplined.
“He’s his own man, and he’s not a kid. I think he’s got to know right from wrong. It’s disappointing that he could have done a better job in the gym. He got a lot of invites from different people, and that distracted him from being at the gym as much as he should have. He took a 3 month break after the Joshua fight,” said Robles of Ruiz.
Like many, Robles noticed how timid Joshua looked in the rematch with Ruiz, as he was flinching every time he saw any hint of aggression. It seemed pretty clear that Joshua has lost faith in his ability to take a headshot, and he’s become a runner/clincher like Wladimir Klitschko used to be during his career.
Ruiz was not showing up for training and calling off – Robles
“I’m responsible when he steps into the gym, but when he’s not, there’s nothing I can do,” Robles continued about Ruiz. “As far as the weight is concerned, when I did have him in the gym, we trained extremely hard. He was losing weight. I got him to lose 20 lbs in the first month, so things were going pretty well. And then it was not showing up, calling in, saying, ‘I’m not coming in today. I’ll be there tomorrow.’
“So when he was in the gym, I’d try to take advantage of that, and try to work him as hard as I could, and do the best as I possibly could, and try to get him in the best shape that I could,” Robles said about Ruiz. “Obviously, it wasn’t enough. We got the defeat, and it wasn’t what I hoped for, but under the circumstances, he did the best that he could,” said Robles.
It’s not surprising to learn that Ruiz was blowing off his training sessions with Robles, because his physique screamed out that he hadn’t taken his training seriously. The sad thing is that by Ruiz failing to train hard, he probably flushed down the toilet a chance to get a $20 million+ payday in a trilogy fight against Joshua.
For the December 7th rematch, Ruiz was stuck with the rematch clause, which limited how much he could make. So instead of getting $35 million, Ruiz reportedly got 12 million to Joshua’s $70 million. But if Ruiz had won the rematch on December 7th he could have negotiated more or less on an even playing field and made massive money.