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Freddie Roach calls it ‘foolish’ for Andy Ruiz Jr. to be slimming down for Anthony Joshua rematch

Roach says Ruiz won the world title fat, and that he’s only been asked to lose weight to look more appealing to the audience.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Freddie Roach took some time to chat with Fight Hub TV about the upcoming heavyweight rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua. And Roach, like some others, isn’t too thrilled with seeing Ruiz try to trim down in size for the rematch, taking a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ ideology.

Roach on not liking Andy Ruiz being skinnier for this rematch:

“I’ve seen him before. I’ve seen where they took him away, brought him to Vegas, then brought him with a new coach, and paid him to lose weight. And the lighter he was, the more he got paid. And I say ‘yeah, but he’s not effective at that weight.’

“I say ‘This guy is one of the best fighters in the world when he’s heavy. He puts combinations together really, really well — better than any heavyweight I’ve seen — and he absorbs punches very well.’ I’ve never seen him hurt by a body shot or a head shot. He won the title fat, what’s wrong with that?! I mean, just because he’s a little skinnier he looks more presentable or something like that?

“This is not a modeling show, I mean, this is a fighting show and I don’t think he needed to lose any weight. I don’t.”

On if he thinks Ruiz might be faster at a lighter weight:

“No. They made him skinny to make him look better for the audience. That’s the only reason. That’s foolish. I mean, who gives a shit what he looks like?! He’s a little chubby, yeah, but he fights really, really well. I love watching him fight, the combinations are great.”

On Bernard Hopkins expressing concern that Ruiz might not be able to take a shot as well at this lighter weight:

“Yes, that is definitely a big factor. Like I said, he absorbed punches really, really well and I’ve never seen him hurt when he’s heavy. But when he takes that weight off he gets weaker and he doesn’t feel that good...Very odd that they would do that at his level, where he just beat one of the best fighters in the world and beat him easily.”

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