Former WBO, IBO, WBA, IBF heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz has parted ways with head trainer Manny Robles.
Robles led Ruiz to one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division, when the Mexican heavyweight stopped heavily favored Anthony Joshua in seven rounds to capture the unified crown at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
But the December rematch was a complete disaster.
After winning the first bout, Ruiz partied for two months. He started training camp way too late – and entered the rematch out of shape with a bloated 283.5-pounds on the scale. He was unable to put his punches together, he was much slower in the ring, and all of that allowed Joshua to easily reclaim his titles with a lopsided twelve round decision.
Since that loss, Robles had barely any contact from Ruiz.
So the veteran coach was not surprised when Ruiz’s father reached out on Wednesday night to advise him that his son was going in another direction.
“I’ve seen it coming, I’ll be honest with you,” Robles said to Steve Kim of ESPN. “I’ve seen it coming during camp. I saw it coming, Andy was just doing whatever the hell he wanted to do. The dad, obviously with him being the manager, he just had no control over his son. None of us had control of him, for that matter.
“So I just saw it coming, it wasn’t going to work because he wasn’t listening. He’s not listening to me, he’s not listening to his dad, he’s not listening to anybody. He said it himself after the press conference [in Saudi Arabia]. He apologized to me, to the dad, because he f—ed up. So I figured, ‘OK, it’s only a matter of time before I get the call.’ Fortunately for me, Andy took the blame on himself and didn’t sit there like a majority of fighters and blame the coach.”
According to Robles, he was told by Ruiz’s father that Al Haymon made the final decision for a trainer change. Ruiz is advised Haymon and fights under Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions banner.
“They apparently told them that they didn’t want the same thing to repeat itself, again,” Robles said. “It is what it is, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me. I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened to other coaches. It happens time and time again. We always end up getting the short end of the stick. But it is what it is, you keep moving forward.”