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Ruiz’s trainer reacts to Joshua “lucky punch” comment

Anthony Joshua

By Tim Royner: Andy Ruiz’s trainer Manny Robles laughs at the excuse Anthony Joshua is giving for his loss last June in New York. Joshua is saying that he got hit with a “lucky punch” from Ruiz Jr. in their fight on DAZN. Joshua isn’t giving Ruiz Jr. credit for the skills and the chin that he showed in weathering a storm of hard punches in the third round.

Robles points out that Ruiz Jr. knocked Joshua down four times, and he doesn’t see how luck applies to a guy getting knocked down that many times in a fight.  The fight was won in training camp says Robles. Andy did the hard work to prepare himself for a grueling fight, and her prevailed. Robles says it came down to Ruiz Jr. being able to handle what Joshua was dishing out. When it came time for Joshua to take Ruiz’s shots, he couldn’t do it. The chin wasn’t there.

Robles worried about Commission and drug testing in Saudi Arabia

Joshua’s Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn’s insistence on staging the rematch with Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia worries Robles, because he wants to know what guarantees there are for their safety. Additionally, Robles says there won’t be a Commission in Saudi Arabia or VADA testing, and he sees that as a big problem. He wants an even playing field for Ruiz. Given what happened recently with Hearn’s fighter Dillian Whyte recently being involved in controversy surrounding testing results for his fight with Oscar Rivas, Robles isn’t pleased with Saudi Arabia being picked as the venue.

Ruiz to start training camp on Monday

“There are questions that have yet to be answered,” said Ruiz’s trainer Robles to Barbershop Conversations. “There’s no [boxing] Commission in Saudi Arabia. Who will be in charge if the fight takes place in Saudi Arabia? Who will be in charge of the drug testing? There’s no VADA over there. There’s no Commission over there. These are simple questions that need simple answers, and we haven’t got them. Who’s got guarantee our safety? Why [fight in Saudi Arabia]? Money? Three’s plenty of money in the U.S, and plenty of money in Great Britain.

Why do we have to go to Saudi Arabia? Why? The rematch clause. He was referring to the rematch clause,” said Robles when responding to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn’s comment about the contracts having been signed already. He’ll [Ruiz] be back in the gym on Monday. If we start on Monday, we’ll have 16 weeks to prepare for the fight. That’s four months. I believe Andy will be in better shape. He’ll be leaner, faster, stronger and mentally in better shape,” said Robles.

It’s unclear how mentally focused Ruiz Jr. will be when he starts training camp on Monday. The location for the Joshua rematch is still very much in limbo, and it’s unknown if the match will go down on the December 7th date that Hearn picked out. The problem with the rematch is Hearn appears to have picked out Saudi Arabia on his own, rather than sitting down with Ruiz’s team to decide where it should take place. It would have been better for Hearn to asked Ruiz’s team about the venue before he chose to stage it in Saudi Arabia.

Robles: Joshua was hurt 4 times with a “lucky punch?

“He said he was hurt with a ‘lucky punch’ four different times?” said Robles about Joshua saying that he lost to Ruiz because of a “lucky punch.” “I don’t understand. You can lift all the weights you want, but how do you recover from this [Robles points to his chin]. That’s a question yet to be answered. How do you recover from a chin? How do you recover from four knockdowns? On the other hand, Andy got up from his bad shot, and still took some devastating shots that he was able to take just fine.

Joshua wasn’t. That’s what we have to see the second time around. How do you recover from four knockdowns? It could have been worse. I’m not overconfident at all. I believe he’ll be in better shape,” said Robles about Joshua. “I don’t believe he’ll be overconfident. We got to make sure he lands first,” said Robles about Ruiz Jr. “No, we beat him fair and square. We didn’t get lucky,” said Robles.

When Joshua talks about the “lucky punch” that Ruiz landed, he’s referring to the first big left hook that he staggered him with in the third round. Joshua says he never recovered that blow, and that’s what Hearn has been saying since day one in explaining why he lot. Hearn and Joshua have to say their loyal followers something to keep them on board as fans after the loss.

If Joshua simply said, ‘I lost to the superior fighter,’ then a lot of his boxing fans would jump ship. That’s why an excuse is needed. Calling it a “lucky punch’ is a handy excuse for Hearn and Joshua to use in nullifying the bad press they’re getting from people.

Ruiz Jr. was mentally tired training for Joshua fight

“Mentally, he was tired, and physically he was tired,” said Robles about Ruiz starting a five-week training camp for the Joshua fight after having just fought Alexander Dimitrenko. “His weight wasn’t where I wanted it to be. This time around, no excuses. 16 weeks,” said Robles.

Ruiz Jr. went through a full 11 week camp for his fight against Dimitrenko on April 20. After Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller was popped for PEDs, then Ruiz Jr. was brought in as a replacement opponent for Joshua to fight. Ruiz Jr. then had five weeks to prepare for the fight. The 268 pounds that Ruiz Jr. weighed in at for the Joshua fight showed that he wasn’t in the type of shape that he could have been had he trained for the fight from the start.

Ruiz’s trainer worried about staging Joshua rematch in Saudi Arabia

“He should be ashamed what he did,” said Robles about Dillian Whyte testing positive for a banned substance with his A-sample last June. “Eddie Hearn, that’s his promoter. Come on, man, and you want us to come to Saudi Arabia, and there’s no Commission and no VADA? Come on, man. And he [Hearn] just signed another British fighter that tested positive [Billy Joe Saunders]. What are you doing out there? My understanding is he knew about Dillian Whyte [testing positive before Oscar Rivas fight]. That’s not good for boxing. You knew about it before the fight. That’s not good, and you want us to go to Saudi Arabia? Come on. What guarantees do we have?

I’m not one to condone Dillian Whyte, but it’s not right what he did. He [Hearn] spoke bad about [Jarrell] ‘Big Baby’ Miller. I haven’t heard him say anything about Dillian Whyte,” said Robles.

Hearn has his mind made up that the Joshua-Ruiz Jr. rematch is taking place in Saudi Arabia, and it’s not looking like he’s going to change it. That’s why it would have been better for Hearn to have spoken to Team Ruiz Jr. ahead of time before he chose to stage the rematch in Saudi Arabia.

Robles wants level playing field for Joshua-Ruiz rematch

“I would never accuse Anthony Joshua of taking anything illegally, but we just want a level playing field,” said Robles. “That’s all we’re asking for. I don’t think it’s fair for Andy to go fight in Saudi Arabia. It’s unfair for all of us. We expect a better Anthony Joshua. Joshua should expect a better Andy Ruiz as well. I believe Andy will win,” said Robles.

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