Opinion

Tipping the Scale: Ruiz and Joshua 2

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Los Angeles, December 6th, 2019- Weigh-ins and wonderment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today set boxing Twitter timelines on fire.

Anthony Joshua looking light, lean, and mean weighed in for a revenge rematch against the only man to paste a 1 over the 0 on his record, Andy Ruiz Jr.

At 237 pounds Joshua looked as though a completely different approach to training was taken and an obvious focus on cardio and boxing while disregarding the trendy weight-strength training.

Historically boxers don’t lift weights, its a cardinal sin amongst the old school coaches and a weight bench won’t be found in any dank musty sanctuary of the sweet science.

Yet in todays era of Instagram models and chiseled physiques weight training and cross-fit have somehow carved a niche in boxing.

Documenting boxing and traveling around the country to film fighters, I’ve seen a growing number of “Strength and Conditioning” coaches wiggle their way into camps that didn’t need them in the first place.

“I’ll train you for free” yes, I’ve seen and heard it dozens of times and if you make your bones in boxing gyms you have too.

Free doesn’t mean good, it means “I’m desperate, but I’m going to use your name and fame as a platform if you win”

“He won because of me, I made him more explosive”

Experimenting with different workout routines copied directly from old military fitness training manuals or creating a routine based on a junior college kinesiology class, these new prophets of personal fitness promise results that only Zeus could send down upon the human body through a lighting strike.

Yes conditioning and training is important, yes it should be tailored, and yes there is a need for it in boxing.

No conditioning program is effective without a disciplined mind and personal motivation to make it effective. Fighters get out what they put in and clearly Anthony Joshua has a renewed motivation.

As Andy Ruiz stepped on the scale marking a massive 283 pounds wearing a sombrero, jeans, jewelry, tank top, and sneakers sending Twitter went into a frenzy.

Ruiz went so far as to offer an explanation on why he weighed so much.

The human body is a remarkable and unpredictable piece of bio machinery. Some things are easy to predict, if you drink alcohol it will affect your performance, if you eat crap it will affect your performance.

The trained eye still has a hard time wrapping its head around Andy Ruiz’s win in June because he looks like the guy they talk bad about in Home Depot.

For those who make their bones in boxing gyms, they all know a guy who looks like a spoonful of mayonnaise that could beat any world champion within a few weight classes of their size.

Andy Ruiz will always look like Andy Ruiz. He was the fat kid at school, he was the fat kid in the gym that turned into chubby guy knocking everyone out.

Always underestimated and always laughed at. Until they weren’t laughing anymore.

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About Albert Baker

Creator/Producer/Director of Under the Hand Wraps and owner of underthehandwraps.com. Albert Baker is still the Senior US Writer at InstantBoxing.com and is based in Los Angeles.

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