How a lack of ambition hampered Andy Ruiz Jr. as heavyweight champ

Former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. suffered from a lack of ambition after conquering the world.

According to former trainer Manny Robles, Ruiz Jr. claimed the sport’s biggest prize in 2019 but still wasn’t motivated enough to retain the belts.

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.

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

Barring the unfathomable lack of discipline, plenty believed Ruiz would have retained his titles.

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

AMBITION

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. “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 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, telling me you’re not motivated? You’re kidding me?”

ANDY RUIZ JR RETURN

Ruiz saw a scheduled comeback in late 2021 fall apart. Mexico‘s first top division ruler has been out of the ring another year.

Teaming up with Eddy Reynoso under the Canelo Alvarez banner, the link-up is yet to breed significant improvements.

News regarding a possible fight with Luis Ortiz is yet to materialize.

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 fall from grace of Andy Ruiz Jr. for the rest of his career.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.

WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.