Boxing’s king becomes a big fat joke

Asked to explain why he didn't train harder for his heavyweight title rematch against Anthony Joshua, dethroned champ Andy Ruiz delivered an unintentionally hilarious line that was also pretty depressing given what had just taken place in the ring.

"There was a lot on my plate," the 30-year-old.

No s***.

Ruiz and his camp had attempted to downplay his ballooning weight after he tipped the scales at 128kg the day before Sunday's fight in Saudi Arabia.

It made him the second heaviest boxer to fight for a world heavyweight title behind seven-foot Russian Nikolai Valuev and despite his early insistence it was by design, as the rounds continued to roll past without any meaningful attempt by Ruiz to take the fight to Joshua, it was clear his fitness was a factor.

The likeable Mexican-American may seem like an easy target today after he handed back the IBF, WBO and WBA straps with a whimper - but the criticism is coming thick and fast because despite being too thick he was still too fast for Joshua in the rare moments they stood toe to toe.

The Brit boxed to a beautiful game plan for most of the 12 rounds, but there were times when he couldn't resist engaging in the fight - and almost every time Ruiz got the better of the exchange and quickly forced AJ to hold and get back on the outside.

Ruiz was unable to do anything from range because he didn't have the energy or courage - the first thing to go when a fighter is gassed - to properly hunt his opponent down.

That's why there was no sympathy for him, despite the at-times unnecessary intervention of referee Luis Pabon.

Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC title, couldn't believe the disrespect Ruiz showed to the sport.

"Ruiz said he was doing great, not letting this moment get to him,' the Bronze Bomber told the Athletic.

"But in the end you hear him saying he ate too much and should've trained harder … Like, what the f***? What do you mean you ate too much and could've trained harder?


Andy Ruiz trades blows with Anthony Joshua. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Andy Ruiz trades blows with Anthony Joshua. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

"I take this s*** seriously. I don't know what their mentality is, but I didn't become champion of the world just to say, 'Put me in the record books. At least I can say I was a champion. They can never take that away from me'. F*** that s***. I'm here for legacy. Long live the king. That's my mentality."

Andre Ward, a super middleweight champion who retired with a 32-0 record in 2017, was also savage in his assessment, saying Ruiz "blew a big opportunity".

"He said he would die in the ring to keep his belts," Ward tweeted. "It didn't take all of that, it just took the discipline and courage to push the plate back and deny himself, to put himself in the best position to win. He couldn't do it."

As well as his belts and the respect of his boxing peers, Ruiz will soon realise he lost tens of millions of dollars during his six-month celebration of a historic win in New York.

Despite his immediate pleas for a trilogy fight Joshua's camp isn't interested - and the public isn't going to back his campaign after what he just dished up.

After pulling seven figures for the first time in his career as a late call-up for his Madison Square Garden fight with Joshua, Ruiz earned about a sixth of what his opponent did the second time round because the rematch was part of the first contract.

It was his second title defence where he would have been in the driver's seat for the first time and able to demand a monster payday.

But that opportunity slipped through his icing-covered fingers and in contrast to the buffet line - where he must have been lined up first - he's now well back in the queue for another shot at championship glory.

Andy Ruiz was way too heavy. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Andy Ruiz was way too heavy. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
News Corp Australia

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