Trainer Abel Sanchez says it would be a mistake if former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) were to face knockout artist Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder next.
Sanchez, who used to coach Andy Jr in the past, says he’ll end up flat on his back on the canvas and badly hurt if he fights Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs).
Abel prefers that Ruiz, 32, pick a softer target in 42-year-old former two-time world title challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz. To Sanchez, that’s a better match-up for Ruiz Jr.
Ortiz and Dillian Whyte are two of the names that are in the running for Ruiz’s next fight.
With Tyson Fury pulling out of his July 24th trilogy match with Wilder due to him allegedly getting COVID-19, some boxing fans were hoping that Ruiz Jr would agree to step in and face Deontay on that date.
Unfortunately, Ruiz Jr said he’s not going to take that fight, which is understandable. There wouldn’t be much time for Ruiz to prepare for the fight with Deontay.
Also, Ruiz is coming off a lackluster performance against 40-year-old Chris Arreola on May 1st in Carson, California.
This was Ruiz’s first fight with new trainer Eddy Reynoso, and he didn’t show improvement over the way he’d fought before signing up with him.
Indeed, Arreola dropped Ruiz in the second round and staggered him in the third. With that kind of effort, Ruiz might as well be back with his old trainer Manny Robles.
Ruiz Jr isn’t showing great improvement
“I thought the fight went on a lot longer than I expected. I thought Andy [Ruiz Jr] was going to be improved a lot from being down with Canelo,” said Abel Sanchez to Fighthub about Andy Ruiz’s last fight against Arreola on May 1st.
“Chris [Arreola] is Chris. If he’s motivated, prepared, and stays in the gym, I know that [trainer] Joe Goosen is not the kind of guy that takes any s*** from anybody.
“So I knew he [Arreola] was going to be in shape, and so I knew we were going to get a good Chris. Yes, he is 40-years-old, but he’s still a good contender.
“He’s had a crack at a title and hasn’t been successful, but it doesn’t mean he’s not a good fighter. Andy Ruiz was in my camp, and he started with some of my guys.
“I knew what Andy had. Andy has got to take advantage of the qualities that he has. He’s not going to be Canelo; he’s not going to be anybody else. He’s going to be Andy.
“The guys in my gym, at times, and in the other gym where he was at, kind of showed him that he has a long way to go. If he stays with Eddy [Reynoso] and continues to have the discipline he had for this fight [with Arreola].
“I don’t mean just because he lost weight because he lost the same kind of weight. I’m talking about paying attention to what they’re doing down there [at the Reynoso gym] because Canelo didn’t become Canelo overnight. It takes a while,” said Sanchez about Andy Ruiz Jr.
Many boxing fans weren’t surprised that Ruiz Jr was forced to labor to a 12 round decision against Arreola. They never expected to see improvements in his game with new coach Reynoso.
The trainer isn’t going to turn Ruiz Jr into another Canelo, but that’s a guy that was always going to be special. You argue that Canelo would be with any trainer in the game; he’d still be Canelo because he’s a fighter that admits that he learned the sport from observation.
In other words, Canelo isn’t the fighter his today because of Reynoso. He’s the guy he is because he observed the outstanding fighters and learned from them. One of them that had a large impact on Canelo’s game is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Sanchez: Ruiz Jr can’t afford to party like before
“Andy isn’t going to be able to come home now and party for two months and then go back for a month and a half or two months and think he’s going to improve,” said Sanchez.
“So I hope he’s going to continue the discipline with Eddy. If Eddy can get it out of him, I think he’ll make him a better fighter.
“Right now, he’s still marginal. No, I don’t take any crap either, but it’s not so much in the gym,” said Sanchez when asked if Andy Ruiz had discipline problems when he trained him.
“In today’s boxing, and in athletics, whether it’s football, baseball or boxing, you can’t train for two months, and then take two months off and go party, get fat and go back and do it again.
“That’s been his [Ruiz] MO, and that cannot be. He’s got to get right back in the gym, just like Canelo does. Every time you see Canelo fight, he’s right back in the gym the next week.
“That’s the modern athlete; that’s what the athlete has to do. If Andy chooses not to do that, it’s going to be the same Andy all the time.
“No improvement, no further development. Well, he’s not hard to hit, and he wasn’t hard to hit in my gym,” said Sanchez when reminded that Arreola knocked Ruiz Jr down in the second round in their fight on May 1st.
“He’s got fast hands and great skills. Those two things are not going to make you a world champion again.
“He caught Joshua on an off night, and he had the worst night that he could ever have, and he became champion. I hope that he doesn’t expect it to be that easy again,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez is right about Ruiz not being able to afford to slack off when he’s not in training camp. It’s a bad sign that Ruiz ate himself to 313 lbs after losing Anthony Joshua in 2019.
It took a year for Ruiz to lose all that weight to get down to 256, and he looked poor against Arreola in his first fight back.
Andy Jr must learn from the fighters at his gym
“It’s not only Eddy [Reynoso]. It’s the atmosphere that Canelo provides for those kids,” Sanchez said when asked if Ruiz can become a world champion again if he sticks it out with Reynoso.
“It’s not only Eddy; it’s Oscar [Valdez]; it’s the other kids that he has. Being disciplined and watching a guy work as Canelo does.
“I’m not saying because I’ve been there, but you see that in the films of some of the things that he [Canelo] does and the exercises that he does.
“He’s in the gym a week after his fights if Andy can do that and continue to learn and sponge off of him.
“Yeah, he can be a better fighter. I’m not going to say that he’s [Ruiz Jr] is going to do the same thing to Joshua as he did the last time, but he can be a better fighter. It depends on Andy. It doesn’t depend on anybody else,” Abel said about Ruiz.
Andy Jr needs to learn from Oscar Valdez and Canelo. Being around those guys should help Ruiz Jr if they’re working out when he’s preparing for one of his fights.
Ideally, Ruiz Jr should stay in the gym and work out when Canelo and Valdez are getting ready for their fights.
Deontay Wilder would put Andy Ruiz flat on his back
“[Luis] Ortiz is a better fight for him. He doesn’t want to fight Wilder. He’ll be flat on his back and will be hurt. Tyson Fury is Tyson Fury,” said Abel when told that Fury had success against Wilder by pressing him.
“Tyson Fury is a special talent. Andy Ruiz is not yet. Wilder can do the same thing Arreola did [dropping Ruiz], but it would be ten times harder, and he’ll be sleeping,” said Sanchez in warning Ruiz Jr not to consider fighting Wilder.
If Wilder could hit Andy Ruiz Jr flush as often as Arreola did last May, he would likely be knocked out. Ruiz Jr is still too easy to hit.