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Antonio Tarver on Andy Ruiz Jr: ‘How do you gain 15 lbs after your biggest win?’

Anthony Joshua Antonio Tarver

By Chris Williams: Antonio Tarver is one of many people that are disgusted with the huge mistake Andy Ruiz Jr. made in bloating up to 283 lbs for his rematch against former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.

Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) came into the fight with Joshua holding the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, and he had a chance to finish the big British fighter’s came with another wipeout out. Andy knew going into the bout that the 30-year-old Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) was going to try to “box me around” by using movement, and yet he still failed to lose the weight.

Tarver was always a dedicated fighter who never took it easy in training camp, so he doesn’t understand someone like Ruiz that would just take it easy.

Andy Ruiz let his fans and supporters down – Tarver

“I’m going to take it all the way to the first fight. I was one of the first to point out that Joshua was way too big,” said Antonio Tarver to Fighthub. “He weighed in at 250 almost. I told everybody he got all that water in his muscles, and he’s too bloated. The man went and got in shape. I thought, hell, Ruiz would at least have met the man and competed.

“How in the hell do you gain 15 lbs after your biggest win. You just let down? Come on, man. I’m thinking it would have been a hell of a fight if Ruiz had come in tip top shape. There’s no he came in heavier than he did the first time.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The man is talking about he was training himself. He let all his fans down, and supporters down. You know you don’t get no shot like this once in a lifetime. I’m hoping Ruiz comes back, but he’s got to get his mind set right,” said Tarver.

Andy’s trainer Robles was let down as well

Ruiz didn’t just let his boxing fans down by not working hard in training camp, but he also let his trainer Manny Robles down. If Ruiz had taken the rematch with Joshua seriously, he might have won, and Robles would get credit. Along with the praise that he would get, he would likely have gotten a lot of fighters wanting to be trained by him. Look at Freddie Roach.

Once Manny Pacquiao started training with him, it led to an avalanche of fighters wanting him as his trainer. All it takes is one good fighter sometimes to help a trainer pick a lot of new fighters. Unfortunately for Robles, Ruiz blew it by not working hard in training camp, and he never stood a chance against Joshua. Robles could have been the next Roach if Ruiz had done his part, and smashed Joshua to pieces again.

Joshua vs. Ruiz trilogy not happening in 2020 – Hearn

“I would love to put Jarrell Miller in fights. The Dillian Whyte fight would be a huge fight. AJ would love to fight him again, but I just don’t think I can work with him right now,” said Hearn to Boxing Social about Big Baby Miller. “I think he needs to have a fight or two, and who knows what the future holds.

“It’s like with Andy Ruiz about a third fight [with Joshua]. I could see possibly that happening in the future, but if you look at the moment in the landscape, certainly not something that happens in 2020,” said Hearn.

Ruiz looked and sounded deluded at the post-fight news conference when he told the boxing media that he wanted a trilogy fight with Joshua. Hearn basically said what everyone knew already, because no one wants to see a third fight between them. It doesn’t matter that the Joshua and Ruiz are 1-1 in their rivalry.

The way that Joshua beat Ruiz last Saturday, the fans would have no interest in seeing them ever fight again. If Ruiz wants a third fight with Joshua, he’s going to need to get in shape and put together a string of victories over quality heavyweight.

He’s not going to get a trilogy fight against Joshua by beating Alexander Dimitrenko again Ruiz will need to beat some of the top heavyweights like Filip Hrgovic and Dillian Whyte. I don’t know if Ruiz is capable of beating those types of heavyweights, especially if he lacks dedication.

Hearn: Joshua is the best heavyweight in the world

“People said to me before I made the Ruiz fight, ‘He can fight. You should have just gone with Trevor Bryan or Manuel Charr. No one cares, it’s Joshua’s American debut,'” said Hearn. “But I thought, he needs to have a proper fight. He’s going to start getting criticized if he doesn’t continue to fight quality opposition. And after the fight, they said, ‘Oh Hearn, you f—- up there. You ruined his career by picking by this guy.’

“I thought, ‘I know AJ is much better than Andy Ruiz.’ Andy Ruiz is a world class fighter, but Joshua to me is the best heavyweight in the world. He shouldn’t be losing to Ruiz. I started thinking, ‘this is a bad move,’ but it actually wasn’t. It’s just when he was focused, he won the fight easily.

“He lost one round. The sweetness was, he could have boxed Andy Ruiz and knocked him out in the 3rd round, and then boxed Kubrat Pulev, his mandatory in Millennium Stadium, and then we’d be sitting here, and they’d be saying, ‘When is he going to be fighting someone decent?’ Instead, he got beat, and humiliated at Madison Square Garden, and knocked down 4 times.

“He dusted himself off, come back, and overcome the mental problem of getting beaten like that to absolutely school the world champion in the Middle East. It was so sweet. And now it makes you realize why you love this sport so much,” said Hearn.

Joshua still hasn’t proven he’s the best heavyweight in the world yet. Hearn can call Joshua #1, but until he beats Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, he won’t be seen as the beat heavyweight on the planet.


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