Respected veteran trainer Manny Robles confirmed to ESPN last night that he’ll no longer be working with former champion Andy Ruiz Jr. after leading him to become an unlikely unified heavyweight titleholder last summer. Robles was informed that he would be let go by Ruiz’s father in a meeting yesterday morning.
Ruiz would shock the world last June, but essentially went on tour afterwards, celebrating his newfound fame. That led him to coming in grossly under-prepared for his contractual rematch with Joshua this past December. Against all expectations Ruiz — who had been ridiculed by some for looking like a sloppy fat boy this first time around — came in even heavier for the rematch and laid an egg as Joshua easily outboxed him over the distance.
During the post-fight press conference Ruiz would apologize to his trainer for not doing what he was supposed to in training camp, but in the end it’s the trainer who gets the axe.
“I’ve seen it coming, I’ll be honest with you,” Robles said late Wednesday night. “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.”
Robles would say that Ruiz’s father told him his firing really came at the behest of powerful advisor Al Haymon himself, who wanted to ensure that there wouldn’t be another training camp like this last one.
“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.”
In spite of parting ways with Ruiz Jr., Robles says he’s thankful for the experiences he had with him, particularly with becoming world champion as team. Robles however finishes by saying he was fully intent on having Ruiz repeat his feat over Joshua last December, but if the fighter doesn’t show up then it’s simply out of his hands.