Andy Ruiz Jr. Trainer Manny Robles “Hasn’t Heard” From The Ex-Champion
by: Johnny Walker
The fallout continues from the poor outing by Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) in his unanimous decision rematch loss against the now re-crowned world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of the UK (23-1, 21 KOs) on December 7th.
In marked contrast to his ubiquitous presence following the night at the beginning of June when as underdog challenger he took the titles away from Joshua, there have been no notable recent media sightings of the now shamed ex-champ. Meanwhile, details continue to emerge of Ruiz’s puzzling sloth and seemingly uncaring attitude as the biggest fight of his life approached.
One of the most puzzled parties is Ruiz’s trainer Manny Robles, whose honesty regarding the turmoil in the Ruiz camp, as the champion suddenly decided to abandon his training in order to “party” with friends (if people who would encourage and enable such behavior can truthfully be called friends), has been refreshing.
“At least know that you gave it 100,” said a frustrated Robles in an interview conducted while back at work in his California gym recently. “Money isn’t everything, you want to leave a legacy.”
“Every fight is the biggest fight of your life.”
Robles, blown off early in training camp by Ruiz and finally reduced to begging the fighter via text message to come and train for the biggest fight of both of their lives, obviously feels that despite ample warnings about his self-destructive behavior, Ruiz’s head was turned by money and instant fame.
Far from the friendly and benign guy of TV interviews, Andy Ruiz became both arrogant and deceptive very quickly, judging from Robles’ account.
Ruiz has admitted he thought he could go it alone and “train himself” for the rematch, and Robles says that various people caught the fighter’s ear, turning him away from the task at hand.
Now, in the aftermath of the disastrous loss to Joshua, the seeming bright future for the Robles and Ruiz team has become very cloudy.
“If he wants it, I’m here, let’s go and get it,” Robles says in relation to future fights. “But [Ruiz] has got to know what he really wants.”
A chagrined Robles explains that while Ruiz may have been acting like a wayward teenager, as a trainer employed by the fighter, he could only do so much to try to rescue his charge from what became an inevitable fate at the hands of Joshua.
“At the end of the day, he’s his own man, he’s a man, not a kid,” Robles explains. “He’s gotta know right from wrong.”
“When he was in the gym, I tried to do what I could to get him in the best shape I could,” Robles continues, explaining that Ruiz faced some minor problems including gout (!) and a twisted ankle during the lead-up to the rematch, but nothing major.
“Obviously it wasn’t enough.”
And while there were numerous media stories about Ruiz’s “extreme weight loss” to the point where even former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson felt the need to express concern, Robles admits that except for some weight Ruiz dropped early in camp, it was all smoke and mirrors.
“I’m not responsible for him,” Robles says regarding Ruiz’s party boy lifestyle, documented by the fighter himself on social media with pictures and video of theme parties, mounds of food, expensive cars and even of a mansion and sprawling estate the fighter bought with his payout on the first Joshua fight.
“When he steps in the gym, I’m responsible, but when he’s not [there], there’s nothing I can do,’ Robles shrugs.
Perhaps tellingly, Robles says in the recent interview that he has not heard from Ruiz since the press conference following the loss to Joshua, during which the now ex-champ apologized for his behavior in and out of camp.
“I sent [Ruiz] a message the other day … didn’t get a response,” a crestfallen Robles explains.
“What can I say?”
“Sometimes fame and fortune can be overwhelming.”
Ruiz Trainer Manny Robles: “We’re Prepared”
By: Sean Crose
Whatever Andy Ruiz’ trainer Manny Robles is getting paid for his fighter’s rematch with Anthony Joshua this weekend, he deserves a bonus. For it was Robles who took about an hour’s worth of calls from Saudi Arabia on Thursday after Ruiz, who was supposed to be on the call, didn’t make it (“I don’t know what happened,” Robles said, explaining that he is in no way involved with his fighter’s media obligations). Talkative by nature, the veteran corner man answered question after question from the media, often at considerable length…no easy task. Again, the guy deserves a bonus.
“He’s a warrior,” Robles said of Joshua, who’s looking to regain his heavyweight belts on Saturday, “and we have nothing but respect for Anthony Joshua.” When I asked if team Ruiz was ready for a stylistically different Joshua this time around, Robles confidently answered in the affirmative. “We’re prepared,” he responded. “We had months to prepare…we were able to bring in some very good sparring partners.” Yet Robles made it clear that “we also have to understand we have a monster (before us) in Anthony Joshua.”
There were, of course, questions about Ruiz’ weight. Unlike the first fight with Joshua, the chubby Ruiz has had a full camp this time around. “During camp, we had a talk,” Robles said of he and his fighter. “(We) tried to figure out where he felt at his best.” Ultimately, he and Ruiz “made the decision to stick to his weight,” which means the defending champion will walk into the ring this weekend weighing about 268 pounds. Robles said that Ruiz had been dropping weight, but “he was feeling drained,” so the fighter “put the weight back on.” As far as the trainer was concerned, it wasn’t too significant a matter. “I really don’t think,” he said, “the weight has anything to do with it.”
What did appear, quite surprisingly, to concern Robles was his fighter’s confidence. Robles indicated he sees it as his job to “get him (Ruiz) to believe in himself. It’s something you have to get on every day with him.” As far as Robles is concerned, Ruiz has the skills to keep hanging with the world’s best. “Andy Ruiz is a complete fighter,” he stated bluntly. Robles also made it clear that he wants others to respect Ruiz and his team, as well. “I’m hoping we get a fair shake,” he said, referring to the officials for Saturday’s fight. “This is the Anthony Joshua show.”
Questioned about the leadup to this weekend’s bout, Robles was polite, but on point. “We never had a press conference in Mexico,” he said. “We never had a press conference in California, back home…that’s got to tell you something.” Even though Ruiz is the champion, Robles feels like his fighter wasn’t treated as an equal during the promotion. “I don’t think that was fair,” he said. None of the leadup will matter, however, once the opening bell rings on Saturday. “You hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” Robles said honestly. Not that he’s expecting his man to lose.
“There’s nothing on my mind right now other than Anthony Joshua,” he said.
Macias, Sanchez and Robles lll on ESPN2 Thursday for Golden Boy Promotions
By: Ken Hissner
Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be featuring three 10 round bouts all qualified to be main events at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, CA, over ESPN2 Thursday night. All three California boxers are looking to enter the world rankings with victories.
The main event features unbeaten Super Welterweight southpaw Neeco “Rooster” Macias, 17-0 (10), of Lancaster, CA, in his toughest test yet against upset minded veteran Mexican Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass, 28-13-4 (18), out of N. Hollywood, CA, in a 10 round bout.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
In the co-feature Super Bantamweight Emilio Sanchez, 16-1 (8), out of N. Hollywood, CA, takes on veteran Enrique “Duende” Bernache, 24-11 (12), out of Guadalajara, MEX, in a 10 round bout.
Unbeaten Featherweight Manny “Chato” Robles lll, 16-0 (8), out of L.A., CA, takes on tough Jose “El Torito” Gonzalez, 23-6 (13), out of Guadalajara, MEX, in a 10 round bout.
In addition, unbeaten Super Middleweight D’mitrus “Big Meech” Ballard, 18-0 (12), out of Temple Hills, MD, taking on Alan “Amenaza” Campa, 17-3 (11), out of Sonora, MEX, winner of 4 of his last 5 fights, in an 8 round bout.
There will be additional bouts featuring top prospects unbeaten Aaron McKenna of Ireland out of L.A., Jordan White, 5-1, out of D.C. and unbeaten Elnur Abduraimov, out of Uzbekistan.