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Ruiz Jr. Money>Motivation

Anthony Joshua

By Ian Aldous: He changed his life forever on June 1st. He shocked the world and became the unified IBO, IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion of the world. Andy Ruiz Jr. became Mexico’s first ever holder of boxing’s greatest prize. You would expect that would inspire and motivate the new champion; but money and fame appear to have dented his ambition.

Fast cars and luxurious abodes would follow his epic championship victory over the previously unstoppable Anthony Joshua. Fans would ponder if the huge media exposure he was receiving might go to his head. The moment he weighed-in for his rematch with Joshua, in Saudi Arabia, was confirmation of that. Inexplicably, he’d gained 15lbs after what should have been the most important full training camp of his life.

Speed kills. And it was the quickness of his hands that bewildered Joshua in their first meeting. Surely it would be logical to build on that and not only maintain, but try to improve your hand speed? Adding 15lbs to an already large frame was simply staggering. Had he not been able to partake in a full training camp; you could fathom it. But, it was the first fight with AJ that he took on short notice, not this one.

“I should’ve trained harder; I should’ve listened to my coaches more,” was the admission Ruiz Jr. made in the post-fight press conference. “Maybe I shouldn’t have put on all this weight that I did and I would have been more faster.”

All of that seems incredibly obvious to any boxing aficionado, so why did it happen? In my opinion, the fight might well have been less one-sided and more entertaining had Ruiz Jr. entered the ring lighter, sharper and faster.

He should have been motivated to defend his world heavyweight titles and prove himself after a decade as a professional slowly working his way to the top.

During his short reign as the premier heavyweight in the world, Ruiz came across as a likeable, easy-going regular guy. I’m sure most fans, including myself, will hope to see the fire in his belly reignited, so he can prove to the world that June 1st wasn’t a fluke.

AJ/Ruiz Jr. 2 felt like a fight for the ages. It was a momentous moment in the history of heavyweight boxing, but unfortunately it didn’t seem that the unlikely champion treated it as such.

AJ/Ruiz Jr. 3? Not likely.




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