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Andy Ruiz Jr.: Why did he come in heavy for Joshua rematch?

Andy Ruiz Jr. Anthony Joshua

By Sean Jones: Andy Ruiz Jr. may have had a psychological reason for coming in grossly overweight for his rematch with Anthony Joshua on December 7, according to well-known trainer Teddy Atlas. Whatever chance that Ruiz Jr. had of beating Joshua in their rematch, it went out the window with him weighing 283 lbs.

He suspects that former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) may have come in heavy on purpose so that it would have an excuse in case he lost the fight.

So instead of Ruiz being dumped on by fans for coming in at his best and losing to Joshua, he has fans believing that he would have won ‘If only.’

Teddy did a lot of research on Ruiz’s past fights

Atlas watched some of Ruiz’s previous battles, and he took tedious notes on areas that he needs to improve on.

During Atlas’ research on Ruiz, he discovered that this wasn’t the first time that he’d come into one of his fights heavy. He’d done it before. Atlas suspects that Ruiz’s rationale for coming in out of shape for some of his contests isn’t only because he likes food.

He thinks there’s a psychological reason for Ruiz coming into some of his fights fat. By Ruiz not training hard and watching his diet, it gives him cover because it allows him to convince himself and others that he would have won if he’d been in shape. Ruiz is setting himself up to fail by being a slacker at times.

Teddy had hoped to meet with Ruiz Jr. in New York to discuss taking over as his new trainer. However, Ruiz never called him. He’s not sure if Ruiz had second thoughts or if he still plans on contacting him later.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Anthony Joshua

Ruiz Jr. came in overweight for a reason

“If you depend on your body to make a living as fighters do, and if you come in at a weight that compromises your chances of doing that, then there’s something wrong,” said Atlas in analyzing Andy Ruiz at THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas. “Yeah, it’s a lack of discipline, and maybe it’s an addiction to food.

“To change that, you have to change the environment and change the way of thinking. It’s much more than me being with him for two weeks. It’s much more than that. For me, the potential of working with Ruiz, again, if you’re compromising yourself by coming in too heavy.

“Okay, we can blame it on a lack of discipline, but there has to be a psychological component to it too where you’re under a lot of pressure. Getting into that ring is a tough thing, and maybe you’re setting up an excuse where you’re not even aware of it in a subconscious way. 75% of boxing and being successful is mental.

“You have guys out there that were just as good athletically as Michael Jordan. I know Michael Jordan was a beast, but some guys were just as good if not better than him athletically. But not mentally, and a lot of those guys never made it. A lot of those guys are still on the streets,” said Atlas.

Ruiz coming in overweight at 283 lbs did give him and supporters an excuse for why he lost the fight to Joshua.

What was Ruiz’s motives for coming in heavy?

What I’m saying is He didn’t ever give himself an excuse to lose. All I’m saying is that when you’re in these waters that I’m talking about, it gets deep, it gets tough, and it gets murky. You have to understand it, and you have to explore it. You have to be aware of it; otherwise, you’re never going to get better.

“So to me, Ruiz coming in the way he did at the most critical part [his rematch with Anthony Joshua], yeah, because he made money. I get it. Yeah, he wanted to eat and had a lack of discipline. He was heavy before that too.

“There’s more to it. You got to find out what it is,” Atlas said about Ruiz’s possible motives for coming in heavy. “There’s more to it. That’s what I’m talking about, and that’s why I’m not quick to ‘yes’ to a fighter because there is a lot involved. I want to see if I’m going to have cooperation with what I believe, and going down that road,” said Altas.

Atlas suspects that Rui purposefully didn’t take his training seriously so that he would have an OUT in case he lost the fight. What better way to have an excuse than to come in looking fat at 283 lbs.

Unfortunately for Ruiz Jr., he doesn’t have enough enablers in the boxing world that believe that he would have won if he’d been in shape.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Anthony Joshua

Did Andy Ruiz intentionally come in overweight?

“So you could be in a situation where you’re undermining yourself, where you’re giving yourself, not consciously, but subconsciously, you’re giving yourself a reason to lose,” continued Atlas in breaking down why Ruiz came in overweight against AJ. “It’s where if you lose, it’s tough to lose because people can point a finger, ‘you’re not good enough.’

“It’s tough. You’re naked out there, and you’re vulnerable out there. But now all you have to do, ‘If he [Ruiz] were in better shape, maybe he would have won.‘ ‘Oh, so maybe he’s better than the other guy. He just wasn’t in as good a shape, but if he were, he would have beat the guy.’

“So it saves you and protects you. It gives you an excuse, and it gives you cover. If we’re going to be the best in the world at whatever we do, we can’t have cover. We can’t have cover because cover is just an alias for an excuse,” said Atlas on Ruiz.

The fact is, Ruiz Jr. looks so bad against Joshua, that the fans overwhelmingly think he would have still lost no matter how well-prepared he came in for the rematch.

If Ruiz came into the fight out of shape on purpose, it’s disappointing. In that case, his fear of dealing with not being good enough was so intense that he intentionally didn’t try hard to win.


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