By Dan Ambrose: Robert Garcia says he’s got time to train Andy Ruiz Jr. if he’s interested in being coached by him. But he’s not asking the recently beaten Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) to train with him. Garcia wants Ruiz Jr. to dedicate himself to training, because he’s got the talent to become a heavyweight world champion again.
There were rumors recently that Ruiz Jr. had already contacted Robert about him potentially taking over as his new coach. However, Robert says he’s had no conversations with Ruiz Jr. as of yet, but he would be willing to talk with him.
Andy Jr. let Robles go after loss to Joshua
Ruiz Jr. split with his trainer Manny Robles shortly losing to Anthony Joshua in their rematch on December 7. Robert doesn’t understand what went into Ruiz’s decision-making in letting Robles go, as the two had found success working together.
Ruiz Jr. defeated Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) last June in stopping him in the 7th round to capture the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles. Things crumbled for Ruiz after that victory, given that he failed to train hard with Robles for the Joshua rematch, and he came in heavy.
A trimmed down Joshua defeated the out of shape 283 pound Ruiz by a 12 round unanimous decision on December 7th. After the fight, Ruiz blamed himself for the loss in admitting that he hadn’t trained hard, and he didn’t listen to his trainer Robles.
Andy Ruiz Jr. still has the tools to be world champion
“Not at all. There were a few rumors that he had already met with me, but those are all rumors,” said Robert Garcia to Fino Boxing on Ruiz Jr. training with him. “I think I met him when he was fighting for Top Rank, just a ‘Hi, bye’ situation, and I never really met him in person. And I never sat down with him.
“It’s unfortunate, because I felt like [Ruiz’s former coach] Manny Robles did a great job with him, and he made him a world champion,” said Garcia on Ruiz Jr. leaving his longtime trainer Robles. “They both made history. For him to leave him like that, I don’t know what the reasons were. Only he makes his decisions, and hopefully he does better.
“Wherever he goes with, hopefully he trains and dedicates himself, because he could still be a world champion at the heavyweight division,” said Robert in wishing Ruiz Jr. success. ‘Right now, it’s huge, and he’s got the tools to be world champion.”
The only thing reasons that makes sense for Ruiz Jr. to be splitting with Robles is him possibly feelling he needs a strict trainer, who will help take the weight off. Robles comes across as a nice guy, and not someone that would get in Ruiz’s face when he’s slacking off.
The fact that Ruiz is reportedly speaking with coach Teddy Atlas as an option for his replacement trainer says a lot. Atlas has a reputation for being a tough trainer, who doesn’t put up with fighters not putting in effort in camp.
If Ruiz can get his weight down to 250s or low 260s, he’s got a shot at winning back his world titles.
Robert Garcia has time to train Ruiz Jr.
‘To me, I think it’s unfortunate that he left Manny, because he said it himself, it was his fault, not the trainer’s fault,” said Garcia in expressing disappointment about Ruiz Jr. leaving Robles. “I don’t know the reasons. Right now, we are busy, but we do have the time. I think I do, but I’m not asking for him to come talk to me.
“From what I’m hearing, he’s already talking to Teddy Atlas or something,” Robert said on Ruiz’s trainer situation. “Teddy Atlas is a great trainer too. So I’m not going to try and convince him to come over here. I haven’t had any talks with him or anything, so it’s his decision. I think any trainer that he picks, I think he’s going to pick the right one,” said Robert.
It’s not looking like Ruiz, 30, will be training with Robert Garcia for his next fight. If Ruiz was interested in having Robert train him, he would have approached him by now you would think. It could badly for Ruiz if he chooses Atlas, as that could be a crash and burn mix of personalities. Ruiz if from California, and he might not like Atlas’ East Coast aggressive coaching style.
It’ll be interesting to see if Atlas can control Ruiz, and keep him away from the kitchen.
Ruiz Jr. is still popular enough to get a third fight with Joshua or a match against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, but that won’t stay that way if he doesn’t start winning again.