Andy Ruiz Jr. had it all three years ago. He’d just won the unified heavyweight championship. Then things went party time.
The story of Ruiz Jr. gaining friends and losing respect for the sport is sadly one that former undisputed heavyweight king Mike Tyson can relate to today.
Mimicking ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ and his plummet from grace in 1990, Mexico’s first top division ruler imploded 29 years later.
Outlined by an explosive interview with the man who took him from nothing to the sport’s biggest prize, the tale of Ruiz Jr. is a common one to tell.
The influence of outsiders drove a wedge between Ruiz and long-time trainer Manny Robles, who is still pained by how things ended between them.
After dropping and stopping who many believed was the best heavyweight in the world, Anthony Joshua, in June 2019, the slippery slope began for Ruiz.
It culminated in Ruiz surrendering his title belts in tame fashion after six months of partying, indiscipline, and, once again, those dreaded destructive forces beyond a coach’s control.
Robles described how Andy Ruiz Sr. was also unable to snap his son out of his inflated ego after gaining a new-found status following years of scrapping for low purses.
“Unfortunately, the dad had a lot to do with the situation ending,” Robles told Marc Gatford. “We lost control of Andy. So the dad decided to blame this on me.
“He said that I’m not doing my job. But I am not his dad. You’re his dad. You control him. How do you expect me to control the guy if you can’t control your son?”
On how Ruiz took on some of the blame for himself, Robles still feels most finger-pointing came his way.
“Andy admitted after the fight he f****d up, said he didn’t train properly. He takes the blame. As he should,” he said.
“After that, I don’t know what happened. Andy is acting like he won the damn fight.”
THE ANDY RUIZ JR REIGN
Concluding with his evaluation on what ultimately ended the short reign of Ruiz, Robles added: “I did the best I could under the circumstances. And I showed up every day.
“I decided to take the camp to Mexico to get him away from his new friends. I never saw these guys before he won the title. But I never saw them, never knew who they were.
“I don’t know where they were when Andy didn’t have a roof over his head. I have no idea where they were then.
“They weren’t around when I said to Andy, ‘move into my place, let me help you.'”
Talk of demons and a new posse to speak of mimick Tyson, who by the time James ‘Buster’ Douglas knocked him out in controversial style, had a mass of hangers-on bleeding him dry.
Hopefully, this won’t be the case for Ruiz. He can bounce back successfully, relatively young for a heavyweight, as Tyson did.
Andy Ruiz Jr could be back in the ring in 2022 after a return this year was postponed.
Options included Luis Ortiz and Deontay Wilder.