The trainer of former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr 33-2 (22) has revealed Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) surprised him with his movement in Saturday night’s IBF, WBA and WBO championship fight in Saudi Arabia.
Britain’s Joshua regained the three belt he lost to Ruiz Jr by seventh-round knockout at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.
The 30-year-old delivered a boxing masterclass to score a wide unanimous decision over Mexican-American Ruiz Jr.
Manny Robles, the trainer of Ruiz Jr, praised Joshua for his gameplan.
“He [Joshua] fought a great fight, and he surprised me. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a heavyweight move the way he did,” said Robles to secondsout about Joshua’s movement.
“Stick and move, and he had that footwork. You don’t find heavyweights that moved the way he did.
“It’s very rare for a heavyweight to move in the fashion that he did. I have nothing but respect for Joshua and his team, because they did what they had to do, and they fought a great fight.”
Ruiz Jr came into the fight weighing 283-pounds, a full 15-pounds heavier than in their first fight.
Robles now admits the additional weight did his fighter no favours.
“He definitely would have been a lot lighter that’s for sure,” he said. “We had the time, we had the sparring, but it’s up to the fighter. It’s definitely up to the fighter. I don’t want to discuss that, because it sounds like an excuse.
“The better man won, period.
“Unfortunately, as Andy said, he should have been more committed, he should have trained harder, but what are you going to do now. You’ve got to get back to the drawing board.
“If Ruiz means what he says about him coming back to the gym, and training hard, then he’s definitely a title contender. He can definitely give anyone a run for their money.
“I don’t think I lost my connection to my fighter. I just think it’s more him, more the individual.
“You’ve got to be disciplined, and you’ve got to be hungry. I can’t want it more than him. You’ve got to want it,” said Robles in talking about Ruiz’s lack of motivation for the fight.
“It’s always a distraction [the media attention Ruiz was receiving], but you can’t let it control you. You’ve got to be able to control the situation. There are 24 hours in a day. You can go and do a press conference, but you still have the rest of the day to get back to work, and get back to business.”
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