By Tim Royner: Andy Ruiz’s weight loss has his former trainer Freddie Roach upset, and he thinks he’s making a BIG mistake as he heads into his December 7th rematch with Anthony Joshua. Roach says Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) already tried losing weight before, and he wasn’t as effective.
His power wasn’t there after the weight loss, and his ability to take shots. Ruiz weighed 268 lbs for his fight against Joshua on June 1 in New York. That weight didn’t hurt his performance at all, as he knocked out Joshua in the 7th round. Ruiz had to get off the deck though in the 3rd round to come back to drop Joshua 4 times in the fight.
Roach thinks Ruiz is being made to lose the weight so that he looks more “presentable” to the fans that are watching his rematch with former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) on December 7.
Roach: Ruiz won his title FAT – he’s making a MISTAKE
“I’ve seen it before. I seen where they took him away from me, brought him to Vegas with a new coach, and paid him to lose weight,” said Roach to Fighthub about Andy Ruiz. “The fighter he was, the more he got paid. I said, ‘Yeah, but he’s not effective at that weight.’ I said, ‘this guy is one of the best fighters in the world when he’s heavy.
“He puts combinations together really, really well, better than any heavyweight I’ve seen. He absorbs punches really well. I’ve never seen him hurt by a body shot or a head shot. He’s a good fighter, and he won the title fat. What’s wrong with that?” said Roach in talking about Ruiz making a mistake in losing weight,” said Roach.
Ruiz says he’s only planning on losing eight pounds to get down to 260 lbs for the fight, because he thinks that he’ll pick up more speed with the weight loss. His trainer Manny Robles believes that Joshua might try and use movement to beat him, and being lighter will help him deal with that.
Ruiz weighed 260 lbs. for his fight against Devin Vargas last year in January 2018, and he stopped him in the 1st round. For Ruiz’s fight against Alexander Dimitrenko last April, he weighed 262 lbs. in winning a 5th round knockout. If Ruiz is serious about him coming in at 260, it might not hurt his speed and power.
They want Ruiz to look better for the fans – Roach
“He’s a little skinnier. Does he look more presentable like that?” said Roach in continuing to criticize Ruiz’s weight loss. “This is not a modeling show. It’s a fight show. I don’t think he needs to lose weight, I don’t. They’re making him look skinny so that he looks better for the audience.
“That’s the only reason, and that’s foolish. Who gives a s— what he looks like? Yeah, he’s a little chubby, but he fights really, really well. I love watching him fight. I think his combinations are great. Yes, that is a big factor. He absorbs punches really, really well, and I’ve never seen him hurt when he’s heavy,” Roach said in response to being told that Bermard Hopkins has concerns about Ruiz’s ability to absorb punches with his weight loss.
This would be a shallow reason for Ruiz to lose the weight, because the boxing fans aren’t going to help pick him up if he loses to Joshua. A lot of the fans will disappear, and write Ruiz off as a one-hit wonder.
Even when Ruiz was in the 240s, he still looked overweight, and far from body beautiful. It doesn’t matter a whole lot how heavy Ruiz weighs. He definitely put some weight on after his win over Joshua last June. When Ruiz did start training again, he looked like he was in the 280s or 290s. He was big, but he still looked fast.
Joshua NEEDED to lose weight
“When he takes that weight off, he gets weaker, and he doesn’t feel that good,” said Roach. “I mean, I’ve been with him before, and he told me. I’ve very awed that he can do that at this level where he just beat one of the best fighters in the world, and beat him easily. It wasn’t a little [weight that Ruiz lost]. Joshua needed to lose weight, because Joshua is having problems carrying that muscle around.
“That big muscle wasn’t helping him,” said Roach about Joshua carrying too much muscle. “So he’s got to go back to what got him there, and got him that gold medal, which were quick hands and quick combinations and so forth. He needs to lose weight. But on the other side, there was no need for it. I feel that he’s a better fighter when he’s heavy,” said Roach in talking about Andy Ruiz.
Of the two heavyweights, Joshua has changed his appearance far more with his weight loss. Joshua looks much thinner, and more like the fighter he was when he turned professional in 2013. There’s no way of knowing whether that’ll help or hinder Joshua’s performance. When Joshua was thin, he didn’t face quality opposition. When he started fighting better guys, he was in the 240s, and he looked more like the bodybuilder that we’ve seen.