Boxing


Ruiz Needs To Admit Why He Lost To Valuev

21.12.05 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: It's funny how before the fight, I was actually starting to like Ruiz for having the intestinal fortitude to fight his mandatory. I was actually starting to give him praise for shutting up and doing what a champion does and fighting the best, and boy does it became clear that things will never change. Ruiz, once again has a loss on his record and again everybody is to blame but himself and his manager Norman Stone. It is pretty fair to say that the boxing crowd is split right down the middle on this one, fifty-fifty. For the most part, it was a pitched battle throughout the fight, with Ruiz having the better of the inside, landing body shots, while Valuev having the better of the outside, with his jabbing. Surprisingly, many people scored the fight a draw, saying things like, “if you like Ruiz’s body work, you give it to him,” or “if you like Valuev’s jabs, you give it to him.”

So, with the fight being so obviously close, why is Ruiz going nuts, feeling as if he were somehow given the bad end of the stick? It’s simple, really, from my perspective, because for the first time in ages, a close fight has not gone his way. It seems as if Ruiz’s entire career as champ is based on controversy, so I don’t feel one iota of pity for him.

When he got to keep his belt by a controversial disqualification, in the eyes of many fans, against Kirk Johnson, where was his self-righteous attitude then? How about when Golota knocked him down twice, in a fight where he lost a point for illegal blows, and initiated countless clinches, for which he could have been docked more points and probably disqualified (and I counted them in my review), and then won another controversial decision, as based on fan opinion. Where was his indignation then? Did he give Golota rematch? Did he give Johnson a rematch? No, he didn’t.

Now, he complains that the fans “booed” (in fact, I saw the post fight and I didn’t hear booing at all) because he was robbed? Let’s remember why Ruiz was fighting in Germany in the first place.

I have nothing against John Ruiz if he thought he won the fight, most fighters do. However, he is the one complaining about it more then most, even though most fans feel he has been on the “good” end of bad decisions more then any other fighter today.

Look at a guy like Glen Johnson. The man has had his fair share of decisions going against him, perhaps more than many fighters past or present, and even though he has those ten losses, he has never used that as an excuse for himself. Glen Johnson has earned his respect, so have Winky Wright, Sam Solimon, Emanuel Augustus, and a slew of other fighters who have been at the bad end of controversial decisions for real and yet they still fight on. Fan for fan, I bet those guys outnumber Ruiz easily.

I personally think it’s high time that John Ruiz take responsibility for when things don’t go right, like in this fight. Come on, if he had showed more boxing ability in this fight, he’d have no issues with the outcome, as he would have easily cruised to victory over Valuev (again, as based on fan perception). Can’t he simply admit that the fight was close and that it didn’t go his way? Must there always be controversy? I thought Sam Solimon beat Winky Wright, but I didn’t throw down and call it a bad decision (and neither did Solimon, by the way, even though he thought he won the fight). I mean, I could see where the argument for Winky could be made, which was a great fight by both guys, but lets move on. Ruiz loses and suddenly it’s a conspiracy against him and the judges, promoters, and the other guy are to blame.

Another thing, when Ruiz realized that this fight would be in Germany and there would controversy if there was a close fight, maybe he should have done some of the following: 1. scoring a knockout. 2. Making sure he way so far ahead on points, that there would be no chance for Valuev to even get the points win, or 3. Not going there in the first place, if he any doubts in his mind whether or not that he could beat Valuev on his home soil.

There were numerous even rounds scored and that suggests that the fight was not an easy one to judge. Even those fans that give Ruiz the win on their cards can’t agree unanimously on which rounds he won. Some believe he won too many early rounds, while some think he won the later ones. I basically scored the later rounds for Valuev, who seemed to excel at hurting Ruiz more, so maybe just maybe its possible that the answer lies somewhere in the middle of these two situations? Perhaps, Ruiz won ten rounds and Valuev didn’t win any, and in America, an American judge might see it that way, but that is why we have rematch clauses. Anything is possible but if roughly half the viewers have Valuev winning by a point or two, maybe the judges aren’t as inept as Ruiz might suspect? Maybe that is why fighters like Glen Johnson say, “I thought I did enough to win but hey I will be back.”

The way I see it, it was painstakingly obvious that Valuev would be favored here if rounds were close, and whether that is subconscious or malicious, that is the way it is. Were Ruiz fighting in Massachusetts, would the other fighter really doubt whom the close rounds are going to? It is just the way it is and if Ruiz really had a problem with it, like I said, he should have said no to the big check Mr. Sauerland and Mr. King gave to him and he should have continued fighting in the United States. Either that, or he should have knocked Nikolai Valuev out. By the way, I am not justifying the hometown fighter bias, iF it did in fact happen, but that is something a guy fighting on foreign soil has to think about. When Roman Karmazin was fighting the Walker’s and the Castillejo’s in their hometowns, was he really thinking that he would get a completely fair shake?

Why is John Ruiz so special? Bernard Hopkins has made his name on being a hated fighter, so there was no surprise that he “officially” lost to Taylor, again. As Bert Sugar said about the first fight, Hopkins should not have placed his faith on a single round to draw in a fight if he was champion and wanted to keep his belt. Ruiz is POSSIBLY even more hated, and less skilled than Hopkins, and again, if he wants to change that then he best start knocking fighters out, or beating them to the point where it’s clear who the winner is beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, in the past, Ruiz has not shown the style of fighting where he can convincingly do that, making his bouts often messy affairs, filled with lots of clinching, wrestling, or falling into his opponent, which is why, in my opinion, he will never be a mainstream favorite, no matter how much he complains.

On a final note: Personally, it’s sad to see that Nikolai Valuev’s shining moment is spoiled by accusations and finger pointing, at everyone but the man most responsible for his loss, John Ruiz. When Nikolai Valuev started out twelve years ago in Russia, the very same finger pointing, and insults and criticism he is receiving now were magnified ten fold. Even in Russia, fans of boxing, boxers, critics, trainers, and other experts, didn’t think he would amount to much. After all, even if he had tons of skill, there was no money in Russian boxing, or promotion, to get him decent fights, that is, unless he moved to a boxing country like the United States. To think that a fighter, who had no boxing experience period, should move to another country, on the off chance he would become a decent boxer, was comical.

Twelve years of dedication to the sport, of effort in trying to improve his skill, in working on his abilities, fight after fight, have earned him that belt. Nobody claims Valuev will be the next Marciano. In fact, most lean towards Primo Carnera, but here and now, he is the WBA champ. Whether it’s because he did more to win, or whether it is because Ruiz is so hated that the title was stolen from him, Valuev should not be blamed for wearing that belt.

As far as Norman Stone, well, I think he performed as expected. If Sam Colonna were to rip the belt off of John Ruiz’s shoulder, I wonder how the Ruiz camp would handle it? What would Norman Stone do then? I, for one, am glad that Valuev maintained his good-natured character outside of the actual ring. Valuev should not let people like Norman Stone ruin or change the person he is with their wild antics.

Congratulations to Nikolai Valuev, he proved many detractors wrong, including myself, while even though supporting him until the verdict was announced, I had my doubts. Nikolai Valuev is the modern day version of the Cinderella boxer coming from modest beginnings, and modest means, to capture the world title, and we should be happy because hard workers like this don’t come around often, especially at heavyweight.

Article posted on 21.12.2005



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