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Teddy Atlas wants Andy Ruiz Jr. to control his EATING problems

Andy Ruiz Jr.

By Sean Jones: Trainer Teddy Atlas wants to take Andy Ruiz Jr. out of his environment of California to help control his eating problems if he decides to take over with training the former heavyweight champion.

Atlas views Ruiz’s eating problems as he would drug abuser. The best way for Atlas to help control Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) is to bring him to New York where he lives and train him there. Atlas will have his work cut out for him if he takes over the of the recently departed Manny Robles as Ruiz’s coach. Ruiz is a millionaire now, and if he’s not happy with being bossed around by Atlas, who’s to say he won’t dump him?

In Ruiz’s last fight against Anthony Joshua last December, he came into the contest a fat 283 pounds and ended up losing by a wide 12 round decision.

Ruiz could be fighting Charles Martin next in an IBF secondary title eliminator. The winner of that fight will be mandatory to challenge champion Anthony Joshua, perhaps next year. Ruiz will need to be in good shape to defeat Martin.

Can Atlas control Ruiz’s eating?

Ruiz Jr. is reportedly is interested in being trained by the well-known Atlas, who has coached many of the top fighters in boxing over the years like Mike Tyson. For Atlas to be able to help Ruiz, he wants to get him away from where he’s at right now in hopes of controlling his eating.

These are the obstacles Atlas would have in controlling Ruiz’s eating:

  • How does he monitor what Ruiz eats after he leaves the gym?
  • Will Ruiz continue to show up for training sessions if Atlas starts limiting his food intake?
  • Without putting a tail on Ruiz, how do you know he’s not gorging on Snickers bars when no one is looking?

Atlas still hasn’t met with Ruiz Jr. to see if the two can work with each other, but he may scare him away if he talks too much about controlling his eating.

For a coach to control a fighter’s eating habits, they need to keep an eye on them at all times, and it’s unclear whether Atlas could do this. Short of Ruiz Jr. moving in with Atlas during training camp so that he could under his watchful eye 24/7, he’s not going to be able to monitor his food intake.

For Atlas to be able to control Andy’s eating, he would need to trust him that he’s not cheating by raiding his refrigerator all night looking to satisfy his hunger. Maybe if Atlas was a little younger, he might have the energy to take on the herculean task of monitoring Ruiz’s eating habits 24 hours a day, but that might be hard for the 63-year-old trainer.

Andy Ruiz Jr.

Atlas wants to remove Ruiz from his environment

“With a kid like Ruiz, it’s almost like dealing and this is gonna sound harsh, and I don’t mean it to sound harsh but again, the truth sometimes can sound that way,” said Atlas to SiriusXM. “He’s got a problem with eating. And if you had a kid that you were really trying to save from drugs, what would you do?

“You don’t have to be a drug counselor to understand that you’d remove him from the things that are comfortable for him. You remove him from his surroundings. Well, the same thing with a Ruiz,” said Atlas.

It sounds like Atlas wants to put Ruiz Jr. in boot camp, but it sounds pretty hopeless. Ruiz Jr. has a professional for a long time, and it could prove to be next to impossible for Atlas – or any trainer – to control his eating. The time to do that was years ago when he first turned pro and weighed a whopping 297 lbs for his first bout in 2009.

There’s plenty of food for Ruiz to purchase in Staten Island, New York if that’s where Atlas will insist on training him. If anything, the food might be better in New York, because there is a massive amount of eating establishments that Ruiz could slip into quickly to gorge whenever the impulse struck him.

Although many of the restaurants in New York are temporarily closed due to U.S President Donald Trump’s request that the citizens self-isolate due to the coronavirus, that’s only short-term.  Trump is now ready to end the 2-week period where businesses are closed.

Changing Ruiz could prove difficult

“I’d have to remove him from his surroundings,” said Atlas. “‘Oh, Teddy, you don’t want him with his father. Oh, you don’t want him with his family. Oh, you wanna be a dictator.’ “You wanna call it that, go ahead and call it that. You have to do what’s gonna be able to change things.”

Even if Atlas is able to get Ruiz to stay disciplined with his eating, it might not help him. If Ruiz loses too much weight, he’ll be weaker and not the same fighter that destroyed Joshua last year.

Atlas could hurt Ruiz’s game if he puts him on too lean of a diet. Ruiz seems to be at his best in the 250s. For Atlas to drop Ruiz lower than that weight, he could wind up with a weakened fighter, who is ineffective against almost anybody he faces.

There are areas in Ruiz’s game that Teddy WON’T be able to change, such as his slow feet. Like Canelo Alvarez, Ruiz has fast hands, but glacially slow foot speed. Ruiz doesn’t move well around the ring, and Joshua and Joseph Parker both took advantage of that to beat him.

Teddy isn’t going to be able to change that by controlling Ruiz’s eating habits. Joshua created the blueprint in how to beat Ruiz by jabbing, moving and clinching, and other heavyweights are going to use that approach every time.




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