For all 15 minutes of his post-fight press conference, Andy Ruiz was saying sorry. He apologised to his father, his apologised to trainer, Manny Robles, he apologised for being overweight. This was not the time to try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, this was the time to admit you were wrong.
When Ruiz scaled an extraordinary 283lb at Friday’s weigh-in, it would be an understatement to say eyebrows were raised. Some made up excuses or claimed he had had weights hidden in his pockets or under his hat. The truth was he didn’t train.
It wasn’t a complete surprise. There had been rumours of sparring partners turning up at Ruiz’s California gym, only to be told the champion wasn’t coming in to train. Ruiz admitted Robles and his father had nagged him to work harder, but he didn’t bother. Almost every answer in his press conference reverted to talking about his weight.
“There was always tomorrow, tomorrow. I should have taken this fight more seriously,” Ruiz said. “Three months of partying and celebrating affected me.”
Ruiz said the excess pounds had prevented him performing.
“Being bigger and heavier, I thought was going to benefit me. It didn’t,” he said. “Being overweight, I thought I was going to be stronger.
“I was slimmer [at the start, I put on the weight and it was my mistake. I felt to confident. I should have trained harder and listened to my team and coaches. We did the best we can I can’t wait for the next fight. He won one, I won one and this is a trilogy.
“I’m not scared of any of my opponents. If I had let my hands go as I did on June 1 I think I would have won. He was boxing his life out.
“I should have pressured more, I waited too much. My arms weren’t as fluid as they normally are. I think it was because of the weight, I came in too heavy.”
Ruiz admitted that he had overindulged when he won the title.
“A lot of things were going on,” he said. “There is no excuse I learn from my mistakes. I know I will be ready for the next one. The partying and all the stuff got the best of me.
“I kind of trained on my own. I’m sorry to Manny, I am sorry to my Dad, I should have listened.
“The only thing he did well as was move around as good as he could, but when I let my hands go I did land. He did a good performance, he boxed me well. I was just following him, I wasn’t doing what I do best.
“I want to rest, I want to talk to my team, I want to think about my career. I will fight anybody in the game. I’m a danger to anyone, I have the heart of a lion.
“The next fight is going to be a lot different. I know I am going to work my arse off. Being in that bad shape, I did pretty good. I took all his good shots. I landed a few shots, I landed a few shots.”
Robles said Joshua had a good gameplan, but he said that he remained fully behind Ruiz.
“We did expect him to stick and move, he did a good job of it,” he said.
“We felt he was going to stand and fight a bit more. When he did, we felt Andy got the better of him, but he went back to moving. We commend him and his coaches for a good gameplan.
“As a coach you have to be with your fighter 100 per cent. I have to apologise to Andy too. It’s a team effort, when you lose it hurts.”