Andy Ruiz is an underdog against Anthony Joshua. Again.
He wants to shock the world and prove his stunner of the century was not a fluke. Again.
His trainer Manny Robles believes his fighter has gotten the short end of the stick throughout the Matchroom Boxing promoted show, and he’s hoping it doesn’t spill into the fight Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
“I’m just hoping we get a fair shake, and the judges call the right fight. I’m hoping the referee gives us a fair shake. This is the Anthony Joshua show. May the best man win at the end of the night,” Robles told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “[The lack of commission and safety issues] has been my concern since day one. We’re in a country that’s not a boxing one and doesn’t have experience. All I can do is just hope and prey. All we ask is for fairness, and a level playing field.”
Robles said defeating Joshua the second time will be even sweeter because they’ll be able to overcome obstacles to then determine which way to guide Ruiz’s career.
“We have to win, and we understand that,” said Robles. “They are not catering to us. They are trying to do everything to make sure Joshua comes out on top … We cannot let the fight go to a decision. If it does, we can not leave any doubt. We have to do everything we can to make sure we get a knockout …. We have to be prepared for everything. It wasn’t our decision to fight in Saudi Arabia. If we had it our way, we would fight in America in New York, Las Vegas or California. We have no control over that.”
Regardless of his overall feelings toward the lead up to th fight, Robles said their is mutual respect between both camps.
“Let the best man win,” he said. “We haven’t changed anything. We’ve stayed grounded. We have the same mentality. We like to feel that we’re coming in as challengers again. We understand we’re not the favorites, again … We’re getting paid less money, and taking the shorter end of the purse. We have our backs against the wall, again. Nobody is doing any favors to us.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].