"Eddy Reynoso won't make any difference unless Andy Ruiz changes his bad habits," says expert trainer
On Tuesday, May 5th, former IBF/WBA/WBO Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. made an official announcement, declaring BWAA's 2019 "Trainer of the Year", Eddy Reynoso, as head trainer for his next professional contest.
The news comes five months after "informally" leaving veteran trainer Manny Robles, who successfully assisted the 30-year-old puncher in becoming the first Mexican American Heavyweight to capture a major world title.
Although most interested observers seem to be optimistic about the high profiled assignment, many experts are unsure whether or not the coaching switch will yield a more positive result both in and out of the ring.
According to three-decade fight trainer James Gogue, public perception and logistics played a big part in Andy's decision making process.
"Reynoso will play a big part in improving Ruiz's credibility among fans, promoters, and networks," insists the experienced manager and coach.
"After making all of those excuses at the post-fight press conference in Saudi Arabia, hiring a respected veteran trainer like Eddy will help his damaged reputation within the business."
"Also, it's a very convenient location for him. Reynoso's gym is within driving distance for Andy, which is in San Diego. It's about two hours away from where he lives. Whether or not the location actually helps him remains to be seen. It might actually hurt him being so close to home...around his friends and family."
"Only time will tell whether or not the decision was a good one for both Reynoso and Ruiz."
After losing his first title defense to current champ Anthony Joshua via wide points decision in December of 2019, the rotund Hispanic fighter was very revealing, admitting to media members that he was lazy and unmotivated in his preparation for the biggest fight of his career.
Gogue is unsure if Reynoso will be able to motivate a heavyweight veteran like Ruiz at this stage of his career.
"Look, any improvements will be entirely up to Andy," claims the veteran trainer. "It's been my experience that Heavyweights are traditionally the most difficult to work with. They don't listen and like to work at their own pace. There's a reason why he's worked with several world-class trainers and hasn't stayed with any of them."
"Robles, Abel Sanchez, Freddie Roach...all of those guys are respected, knowledgeable coaches, and he's had a mixed bag of results with all of them."
"Just like Manny Robles said after he was released of his duties as head trainer; Emanuel Steward, Eddie Futch, and Angelo Dundee could return from the grave and it wouldn't make any difference if Andy chooses not to listen or improve his work ethic."
Will Reynoso be able to get the most out of Andy Ruiz at age 30, or are his bad habits too deeply ingrained in his personality at this stage of his career?
The late, great Emanuel Steward insisted that every fighter was different, and it was always up to the trainer to find that "hot button", or method that would be effective in motivating each and every one of his fighters.
Most successful fighter/trainer tandems develop a personal connection, which was more than likely the determining factor for the union after several phone calls and conversations. But a continued partnership after their first fight together hinges on Andy's productivity.
Coach Gogue believes Eddy Reynoso is smart enough to understand what his primary duties will be at this stage in Andy Ruiz's career.
"Eddy's primary role will be to get Andy in proper fight shape and sharpen the tools he already has," states the three-decade fight trainer. "Andy knows how to fight. He already knows how to effectively cut off the ring and close the distance against taller, rangier heavyweights. He already understands how to work proficiently underneath and knows how to throw short, compact combinations inside while defending himself in the pocket."
"Reynoso knows this and will focus on keeping his new fighter motivated, working in the gym, and polishing his skills for the upcoming fight. He doesn't have to change Andy's fight plan or philosophy in the ring...he merely has to get him mentally and physically ready."
While no one is certain when, where or against whom Ruiz will be competing, many seem to think Robert Helenius would be a solid first fight with his new trainer. Should the former champion get past the hard-punching Finn, he would earn a mandatory position for the WBA Heavyweight championship and a potential third fight with Anthony Joshua.
Hopefully, fans will get to see how Eddy and Andy fare in 2020.
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