Teddy Atlas reveals notes on Andy Ruiz Jr.
By Dan Ambrose: Teddy Atlas is still hasn’t received a phone call from former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. to take the job as his new trainer. But with it not looking promising that Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) will ever make that call to him, Atlas has revealed some of the notes that he put together that he had planned on using in making corrections to Ruiz’s game to bring him back on top.
Did Ruiz get cold feet?
Had Ruiz called Atlas up, he would have went through all the things that he would have expected from the former champion. The fact that Ruiz Jr. didn’t call could be due to the recent outbreak. But then again, it could be that Ruiz got cold feet at the idea of being trained by the stern taskmaster Atlas, who would have expected the heavyset former champion to deal with a lot of unpleasant truths.
Only Ruiz Jr. knows why he never called Atlas. For boxing fans, they believe Ruiz didn’t like the idea of going into what would have been the equivalent of a hard boot camp.
Atlas states that Ruiz’s recent loss to Anthony Joshua on December 7 had nothing to do with him coming in overweight at 283 lbs. He believes that even if Ruiz had come into the fight with Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) at his best weight, he still would have lost the battle.
Weight wasn’t the cause of Ruiz’s loss to Joshua
“Ruiz lost to Joshua, and everyone blamed it on his weight. I then looked at the tape of the fight against Parker that he lost, and guess what? Other than the weight, you might as well have been looking at the same fight,” said Atlas to
THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.
“Parker fought on the outside. Joshua fought on the outside. Parker boxed. Joshua boxed. Parker used his legs, and Joshua used his legs. Guess what? The Ruiz that was lighter in the Parker fight, much lighter, didn’t cut the ring down, he didn’t use his jab to get in enough.
When he got in there, he didn’t stay in there. He was one-dimensional in his approach. All the things that he did to lose the Parker fight, he did the same things to lose the Joshua fight.
“But everyone said, ‘It’s because of the weight.’ I’m going to say that even if he [Ruiz] came in lighter after what I saw, I would say that he still would have lost the fight,” said Atlas about his opinion that Ruiz Jr. still would have lost to Joshua even if he had come into the fight lighter,” said Atlas.
Ruiz’s weight certainly contributed to his problems against Joshua, but it wasn’t the entire reason why he lost the fight. He didn’t have the crowd with him in Saudi like he had in New York last June, and it was a different Joshua this time. Ruiz wasn’t ready to chase him around the ring and deal with being held a lot.
Atlas: Ruiz Jr. lacked the technical knowledge
“It had nothing to do with the weight,” said Atlas on Ruiz Jr. “It’s what he didn’t know technically how to deal with a guy boxing from the outside. I can’t help you if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. If you don’t confess to is so to speak and if you don’t acknowledge it. And if you’re not willing to change, I can’t help you. I’m not going to go in there just to get a payday. I’m going in there to win and make a difference. It’s a serious business.
“I would want to know if he’s onboard and where he is mentally,” Teddy said about Ruiz. “It would have been a couple of days in New York to go through those things, and they were going to call me. The call never came,” Atlas said about Ruiz never contacting him to arrange a meeting to decide if he wanted to be trained by him.
“I had figured out what I would do with him. I had out together probably eight pages of the things I felt he needed to work on, and I would work on them with him to correct from a technical standpoint. What my plan would be and what I would expect from him. So I wrote it all out with all the corrections [for Ruiz that needed to be improved on],” said Atlas.
What Ruiz lacked was the conditioning, and the same hunger to attack Joshua like he’d done in the first fight. Ruiz wasn’t as desperate to win the fight as he was the first time, and it showed.
If Ruiz been willing to continue throwing no matter what, there’s a good chance he would have hurt Joshua.
Atlas wanted to help Ruiz but he never called
“It wasn’t just about the weight,” said Atlas about Ruiz. “It was also about teaching and improving in certain areas. We make a big deal about him going up to 283 lbs when he fought the rematch with Joshua. People make mistakes. He made a mistake.
“We blamed everything on that, but we forgot that he had a loss earlier in his career when he wasn’t 283 lbs. Why did he lose that fight? So I’m looking at everything. So there’s room for improvement in certain areas otherwise, why would you need me? If you only need me for weight loss, call Jenny Craig. I wrote up these pages and put it together, so if they call me.
“To me, it’s not about dropping 25 pounds or 30 pounds. To me, it’s about making a commitment for the rest of your life. For me to be successful, this kid has to be successful beyond one fight. What happens? He wins a title and then goes up to 300 pounds.
“Remember what happened to Buster Douglas after he beat Mike Tyson. He made all that money, and he lost his title right away to Evander Holyfield. And then he went up to 400 lbs and went into a diabetic coma. He came back after that diabetic coma and was knocked out by Lou Savarese,” said Atlas.
Even with Ruiz Jr. out of shape at 283 pounds, he still could have beaten Joshua last December. If he had kept throwing combinations nonstop when he would close the distance on AJ, he would have likely knocked him out. What we saw though is Ruiz would throw 2 to 3 punches and stop as if he was making sure he didn’t gas out.
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