Coach lifts the lid on lack of Andy Ruiz Jr. ambition as heavyweight champ

Andy Ruiz Jr.

Mark Robinson

Heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. claimed the sport’s biggest prize but still wasn’t motivated enough to retain the belts for the first time of asking.

That’s the view of his former long-time trainer and friend Manny Robles.

Discussing how Ruiz behaved after he stunned Anthony Joshua for the unified top division crown, Robles was astonished at what he witnessed.

The pair traveled to Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, in December 2019 for what should have been the cherry on the cake of their world title win.

Ruiz was back to do the same again to Joshua after dropping and stopping the Briton in New York.

Barring the unfathomable lack of discipline that transpired, there are plenty who believe Ruiz would still be the world ruler today.

Instead, Ruiz ballooned in weight and didn’t train properly for the fight. Joshua ultimately ran circles around him in the rematch.

Looking back, Robles still can’t quite believe what he witnessed.

Andy Ruiz Jr. Anthony Joshua
Mark Robinson

“I had to put up with a lot. I had to endure a lot. It wasn’t fun,” Robles told Marc Gatford via the blog. “You know, I did the best I could to get him to focus on the fight.

“I tried my best to keep him disciplined, but unfortunately, his mind was somewhere else.

“It didn’t make me feel good at all. You are a world champion, man. You’re not a kid anymore.”

Robles continued: “He was world champion: WBA, WBO, IBF, what more could you want? There’s your motivation right there.

“If I win the world title today, I want to be back in the gym tomorrow. That’s how most fighters think. They don’t want to lose their bouts, and they don’t want to lose their belts.

“They want to get back in the gym and go to work.”

He concluded: “Andy Ruiz Jr. says he wasn’t motivated – you’re already a world champion, you’re rich, you’ve got money in the bank now.

“What motivation do you want now? You’re not homeless anymore. You buy yourself a mansion and you’re telling me you’re not motivated? You’re kidding me?”


Yet to return from the second loss of his career, Ruiz saw a scheduled comeback in late 2020 fall apart.

Teaming up with Eddy Reynoso under the Canelo Alvarez banner, the extra time has given both sides time to gel for a return.

News is due to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

As for Robles, he will never be short of fighters wanting to be guided by a world champion trainer.

But he may find himself synonymous with the dumbfounding Ruiz fall from grace for the rest of his career.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.