By Sean Jones: Andy Ruiz’s former trainer Manny Robles is happy that he’s finally taking his training seriously and dropping weight, but he feels he blew it by slacking off in preparing for his rematch with Anthony Joshua in December 2019.
Ruiz’s poor decision not to train hard for the rematch with Joshua (24-1, 22 KO’s) cost him his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles.
More importantly, Ruiz lost the respect that he’d won from many boxing fans after his upset win over Joshua in their first fight in June 2019.
Interestingly, despite admitting that he hadn’t trained hard for the fight, Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) parted ways with Robles replaced him with Eddy Reynoso, the trainer that Canelo Alvarez works with.
Ruiz still hasn’t fought since signing on with Robles, but he’s lost a lot of weight and looks ready to resume his career. He hasn’t fought in 13 months, and he still doesn’t have a fight scheduled.
That could mean we might not see Ruiz back in the ring until May or June of this year, which is a lot of time inactive for anyone.
Ruiz should have taken his training seriously
“That’s good. He should have thought about that in the rematch when he fought [Anthony Joshua]. When he was a world champion,” said trainer Manny Robles to Fighthype when shown a video of an in-shape Andy Ruiz.
“It’s never too late, but now he’s lost something precious, which is the heavyweight championship of the world. I tried to convince him, but unfortunately, his mind was somewhere else.
“Now, apparently, the situation is different. I wish him nothing but the best. I don’t hate on him. Hopefully, he’ll become a world champion again. This isn’t about me. This is about them, the fighters,” said Robles.
Losing the fight to Joshua cost Ruiz a lot of money, as he could have made a fortune if he’d beaten him a second time. He made the mistake of slacking off at the worst possible time career-wise.
Robles says it’s “never too late,” but he might be wrong about that. Ruiz blew his chance to make big things happen by beating Joshua a second time. The money that Ruiz would have made in a third fight would with AJ would have been astronomical.
Joshua made the big cash for the second because he had the financial terms already written in the rematch clause from the first fight.
So instead of Ruiz making the huge money for the rematch, it was Joshua once again. That’s why it was so important for Ruiz to have won the second fight with Joshua, but he blew it.
It wouldn’t have been a big deal if Ruiz had let himself get fat if he were fighting a nobody, but he was facing one of the best heavyweights in the sport in Joshua. It’s kind of mind-boggling how Ruiz would slack off for this particular fight.
Robles hopes Andy Ruiz improves with Reynoso
“Like I said, this is your lifeline, and this is boxing right here,” said Robles. “Take advantage of it because it ain’t going to be around forever. Do you know what I mean? He [Ruiz] became a world champion, but it’s not about winning a world title.
“It’s about defending a world title. It’s about building a legacy. That’s what I tried to do, but hopefully, he can find that with [Eddy Reynoso].
“I wish him nothing but the best. I hope so,” said Robles when asked if Reynoso has the tools to bring back Ruiz’s world championship form and mindset.
“It’s up to the fighter. It’s not up to the trainer. What does the fighter want? The fighter has got to be hungry.
‘The fighter has got to want it. You can’t lead a horse to water and make him drink it. And you got to know what you want. You can’t be warm.
“You’re either hot, or you’re cold, but you can’t be in the middle. ‘Ah, I’m going to train today. Maybe tomorrow.’
“No, you’re either there or not. You’re going to do it or don’t do it at all. That goes for everybody,” said Robles.
It’ll be surprising if Reynoso will be able to do anything with Ruiz by turning things around. He’s already hurting his own career by sitting on his backside not fighting for an entire year in 2020.
Ruiz should have fought at least once in 2020 instead of staying inactive, and that makes you wonder whether he’s thinking clearly. It’s not just about training and getting in the best shape. You got to stay active, and Ruiz isn’t doing that.
Chris Arreola is one of the names floated last year as a potential opponent for Ruiz, but it’s doubtful that he’ll want someone that tough after his long layoff.