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Ruiz’s trainer on Joshua’s movement: ‘I haven’t seen a heavyweight move like that in a long time’

Anthony Joshua boxing photo and news image

By Jeff Aronow:  Anthony Joshua’s movement both impressed and surprised Andy Ruiz’s trainer Manny Robles last weekend, because he hasn’t seen a heavyweight that can move like that in a long time.

Robles says it’s rare for guys to move like the 237 lb Joshua did in beating his fighter IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in Saudi Arabia.

The way that Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) moved in the fight, Ruiz would have had little chance of winning even if he had come into the rematch at the weight that Robles had wanted him to.

His goal was to get Ruiz down to 255 lbs for the second fight with AJ, but it might not have helped. Robles was upset by Ruiz’s defeat, considering that he felt he would have stood a better chance of winning had he taken his training more seriously than he did.

Robles: Heavyweights don’t move like Joshua did

“He [Joshua] fought a great fight, and he surprised me. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a heavyweight move the way he did,” said Robles to secondsout about Joshua’s movement. “Stick and move, and he had that footwork. You don’t find heavyweights that moved the way he did.

“It’s very rare for a heavyweight to move in the fashion that he did. I have nothing but respect for Joshua and his team, because they did what they had to do, and they fought a great fight,” said Robles.

If Robles and Ruiz had studied Joshua’s fight against Joseph Parker from last year, they would have understood that he was going to pattern his fighting style after Wladimir Klitschko. It was already out there in the media that Joshua had been getting tips from Wladimir in how to fight Ruiz, and that told you right there how he was going to fight. In Ruiz’s pre-fight comments, he sounded unworried about Joshua’s movement. He thought it was something he would easily be able to deal with. In hindsight, Ruiz was proven wrong, and he paid for it big time in losing his three world titles, and being criticized by fans for his poor conditioning.

Ruiz had the time to lose the weight

“He definitely would have been a lot lighter that’s for sure,” said Ruiz’s trainer Robles when asked what he would have liked to have happened. ” We had the time, we had the sparring, but it’s up to the fighter. It’s definitely up to the fighter. I don’t want to discuss that, because it sounds like an excuse.”

“The better man won, period,” said Robles in giving Joshua credit for his win over Ruiz . “Unfortunately, as Andy said, he should have been more committed, he should have trained harder, but what are you going to do now. You’ve got to get back to the drawing board. If Ruiz means what he says about him coming back to the gym, and training hard, then he’s definitely a title contender. He can definitely give anyone a run for their money,” said Robles.

It’s likely that Ruiz will need to beat one or two of Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn’s heavyweights before he’ll be giving a third fight with Joshua. Hearn already mentioned that on Sunday. He would like to see Ruiz fight these heavyweights from his stable:

  • Filip Hrgovic
  • Michael Hunter
  • Dillian Whyte
  • Alexander Povetkin
  • Dereck Chisora

Robles talks about Ruiz lacking the hunger to train

“I don’t think I lost my connection to my fighter. I just think it’s more him, more the individual. You’ve got to be disciplined, and you’ve got to be hungry. I can’t want it more than him. You’ve got to want it,” said Robles in talking about Ruiz’s lack of motivation for the fight.

“It’s always a distraction [the media attention Ruiz was receiving], but you can’t let it control you. You’ve got to be able to control the situation. There are 24 hours in a day. You can go and do a press conference, but you still have the rest of the day to get back to work, and get back to business,”said Robles.

Ruiz picked the wrong time for him to slack off, and start partying and enjoying himselff. For fighters that want to take it easy, they need to be at the end of their careers to do and get away with it. Boxing isn’t like a normal job. The athletes in this sport need to work 365 days a year if they want to stay on top, and make sure they don’t take punishment from being out of shape. Ruiz acted like he had it made, and didn’t show the hunger that he needed for him to have a chance of beating Joshua again.

Ruiz needs a win over a top name

As far as a rematch goes, Joshua sounded pretty casual about giving Ruiz another chance in the future. Initially, Joshua expressed interest in giving Ruiz a trilogy fight, but in an interview on Monday morning, he sounded less excited about it.

If Ruiz is going to get a third fight with Joshua, he’s going to need to earn it by beating some top heavyweights in the division. That’ll have hard for Ruiz to do if he doesn’t have the hunger or the dedication to get his weight down.

Ruiz should volunteer to fight one of the following Hearn heavyweights: Hrgovic, Chisora, Hunter or Whyte. If he can beat those guys, Hearn would likely be more willing to put him back in with Joshua. Part of the problem Ruiz has is he needs to redeem himself in the eyes of the boxing public, who will likely no longer trust him.

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