Training alongside Canelo Alvarez has been beneficial in numerous ways since Andy Ruiz Jr. began working with Alvarez’s chief second, Eddy Reynoso, last year.
Ruiz realized what it actually takes to prepare properly for fights by watching the disciplined Alvarez in the gym every day. The former heavyweight champion credits the Mexican legend for helping him change his habits in and out of the gym, so much that Ruiz looks forward to training, something he never thought would happen.
“It’s been helping me a lot, you know, because I look up to him and I wanna be like him,” Ruiz told BoxingScene.com. “And the way to do that would have to be discipline. We have to do the things that other fighters don’t do and we’ve gotta work extra hard. And it’s been a blessing because he’s been showing me so many moves and so many tips he has under his belt.”
Alvarez and Ruiz have been preparing for fights simultaneously, thus they’ve spent a lot of time around each other in recent months at Alvarez’s gym in San Diego.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) will end a 16-month layoff Saturday night, when he’ll face fellow Mexican-American Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs, 2 NC) in the 12-round main event of a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View show at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California (9 p.m. ET; $49.99). Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs), the WBA/WBC champ, and England’s Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs), the WBO champ, are scheduled to meet May 8 in a super middleweight title unification fight that’ll headline DAZN’s stream from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The 31-year-old Ruiz reached out to Alvarez last year, when he was looking for a new trainer. Ruiz and Alvarez had met after Ruiz upset British superstar Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) by seventh-round technical knockout to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles in June 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Alvarez arranged a meeting with Reynoso, who stressed to Ruiz that he would have to do everything asked of him if their partnership were to work well. Ruiz, of Imperial, California, has followed Alvarez’s lead ever since.
“He tries to perfect every single punch, every single movement, every combination,” Ruiz said. “And we’ve gotta do the same thing. And then him telling me that I can be like him and I have the ability to move around like him, and all that stuff, it motivates me even more. That’s why we’ve been training really hard. He’s been helping me a lot.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.