Andy Ruiz: Fat heavyweight champion is best when beefy
Oscar Wilde once defined an expert as an ordinary man away from home giving advice.
Since the advent of the internet, one could characterize the modern-day expert as an ordinary man in their mom's basement giving advice about politics or religion...oh, and boxing as well.
After today's sanctioned weigh-in ceremony, in support of the highly anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and newly-crowned unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr., many keyboard warriors are convinced that Andy Ruiz Jr. just lost his coveted heavyweight titles before ever throwing a punch.
Earlier today, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, the reigning world champion weighed in at approximately 283.7 pounds, almost 16 pounds heavier than his weight prior to his initial bout with Anthony Joshua, who "strategically" weighed in at 237 pounds this afternoon; 10 pounds lighter than his most recent official weigh-in.
After the live weigh-in of Joshua vs Ruiz 2 was broadcast around the world earlier this afternoon, many "experts" shared their opinions on the internet, claiming that Ruiz was making a terrible mistake by coming in heavier.
Theories of being lazy and not hitting the gym, being too comfortable before the rematch, or looking past the former champ towards other intriguing bouts quickly scoured social media forums.
Even the heavyweight champion's current fight trainer, Manny Robles, seemed a bit disappointed and was hoping to see his champion tip the scales around the 255-pound mark.
Perhaps most know better than a veteran coach who trained Andy for seven years.
Andy Ruiz is fat? No problem...
In a recent interview with FightHub TV, hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach argued that his former heavyweight is a much better fighter when he's not trying to shed pounds.
Joshua vs Ruiz 2
December 07, 2019
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
DAZN; Sky Box Office HD
"I've seen it before," the 59-year-old fight trainer exclaimed. "They (Top Rank, Inc.) took him away from me, brought him to Vegas, assigned him to a new coach, and paid him to lose weight."
"The lighter he was, the more he got paid. But I told them he's not effective at that weight. I said this guy is one of the best fighters in the world when he's heavy.
He puts combinations really, really well...better than any heavyweight I've seen, and he absorbs shots well. I've never seen him hurt by a body shot or headshot. He won the title fat...what's wrong with that?"
"Why? Because he looks a bit more presentable? Look, this is not a modeling show! This is a fight! I don't think he needed to lose weight. If anything, he's more effective when he's heavier."
Most great trainers agree that a fighter shouldn't be worried about weight during camp, and should solely be focused on devising a game plan while committing said strategy to muscle memory. Perhaps the boxing anomaly that is Andy Ruiz feels most confident when he's not worried about shedding pounds in the gym.
Roach contends that his former fighter simply doesn't feel as good or as strong when he focuses on losing weight in the gym.
"When he takes that weight off, he gets weaker, and he doesn't feel that good. Look, he just beat one of the best fighters in the world and beat him easily while he was fat."
Freddie also stated that he agrees weight was going to be an issue in the eventual rematch, but not for the current champion.
"Joshua needed to lose weight because he was having trouble carrying that muscle around. It wasn't helping him. He needed to get back to what got him the gold medal...which was quick hands and quick combinations. He needed to lose weight, Ruiz didn't."
In the theater of the unexpected that is Heavyweight boxing, anything can and often does happen in the ring.
So if Ruiz does indeed lose the big rematch in Saudi Arabia, it won't be because of Andy's weight, and sole credit should be given to Anthony Joshua for defeating a champion at the top of his respective game.
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