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Andy Ruiz Jr trainer update: Teddy Atlas has spoken, not met with Ruiz team

The odd couple pairing has at least been discussed.

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - December 09, 2019 Photo by BG023/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Oh, it would have been a fascinating pairing. And who knows, maybe it could still come to be.

About six weeks ago, the trainer-analyst-podcaster Teddy Atlas went back and forth a bit with Team Andy Ruiz.

The Cali boxer was going in another direction, and looking for someone to replace coach Manny Robles, who’d climbed the mountain at MSG with Ruiz when the portly pugilist stopped Anthony Joshua last June.

Ruiz was the story of the year in boxing for 2019, but not just because he obtained that massive triumph. In June, he was the man, a feel-good story for the ages — and by December, he experienced a fierce and harsh blowback. Ruiz under-prepared and over-partied, and showed up for the AJ rematch Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia significantly heavier. His effort in the scrap was lackluster, same as his prep. And many of those who’d lifted him up and saluted him, were now “saluting” Ruiz with a middle finger, excoriating him for not taking the task seriously. He was 268 in June, and made the scale groan when it burped out “283” on Dec. 6 in Diriyah.

So when we heard that Team Ruiz advisory arm was considering Teddy Atlas to help craft the comeback story, we thought that could be compelling.

Now, we heard about it over a month ago, and asked Atlas about the prospect of him taking on such a project. The Staten Island, New York resident said yes, he’d talked to Ruiz’ people. He’d consider it, he said, but would want to gauge the fighter, meet, see how they meshed. And see how serious Ruiz was about bouncing back, about reverting back to the form, mental and physical, which propelled him to snag the Upset of the Year.

On Monday night, I reached out to Atlas, seeking an update.

“I have not talked to them for six weeks or so since they said they would come here to meet with me,” Atlas replied.

So, who knows, maybe the call goes out tonight, and Ruiz is on a red eye to NYC, preparing to profess his willingness to buy in to an Atlas regimen.

On the most recent “Inside PBC Boxing,” Ruiz told the host Kate Abdo that he will decide on a new trainer sometime in March.

“(Atlas is) one of the guys on the list,” said the 30-year-old fighter, aware that Atlas led Michael Moorer to heavyweight primacy. “Teddy is one of the great heavyweight trainers. He can teach me discipline, as well.”

I think the connection of the intense motivational specialist and the talented but mercurial hitter would make for interesting storylines, and also be of benefit to Ruiz. Andy has been blessed-cursed with the boxing equivalent of hitting the lotto: he has enough money, probably, to never fight again and live in exquisite comfort. That’s fab, but also detrimental to settling into the necessary mindset to return to pre-June 1 form. Atlas could help, I think, when Ruiz feels the urge to blow off the 6 AM run to stay snoring on the silk sheets.

Follow Woods on Twitter for news and opinion, if you like.

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