ANDY RUIZ JR must become the new Floyd Mayweather Jr — and not Hasim Rahman.
American Rahman was crowned world heavyweight champion in April 2001 when he stunned Brit Lennox Lewis with a fifth-round KO.
But seven months of partying and spending left him flat on his back just four rounds into the rematch.
Ruiz, 30, lived the high-life after stunning AJ in June, splashing out on a stunning California mansion and four luxury cars.
But Rahman, 47, who is now training Ruiz’s sparring partner Michael Hunter ahead of Saturday’s Saudi Arabia rematch, said you can be a big spender and have a long reign as king of the ring.
The Las Vegas-based cornerman said: “That can go both ways. If you buy that stuff and you like continuing to buy that stuff, you’ve got to continue with it.
“Floyd liked buying all kinds of cars and bought them his whole career and it wasn’t to his detriment. It gave him the hunger to keep winning so he could buy more.
“Floyd’s been buying expensive cars since he came out of the Olympics and it never deterred him from training hard, or his performance in the ring.
“So I don’t think the cars, or any lavish gifts Ruiz purchased for himself, are going to deter him in this fight.
“If anything, it’s going to make him more hungry because he wants to sustain that.”
Legend Lewis made drastic changes to his training, entourage and lifestyle to reverse the shock defeat and told Joshua to do the same.
But apart from losing weight and bringing in new sparring partners, AJ has stuck to his guns. And Rahman reckons he has seen enough of Ruiz in the ring to think the Brit’s career is in jeopardy.
He said: “The mindset changes. You have somebody coming in trying to take it away from you now. Now you’ve got something to defend, you’ve got to stand your ground.
“Ruiz is champion and I haven’t seen any slacking off in training. He can fight and if he lands punches, you’re going to see the same again.”
Lewis and AJ’s relationship has deteriorated since the New York nightmare, with the 30-year-old labelling the veteran a “clown”.
Rahman added: “If you look at how many Olympians, world champs and hall-of-famers Lennox Lewis beat, it’s no debate. Lennox fought and beat everybody.
“Joshua’s career is not over so it’s unfair to compare them but right now, Lennox is way ahead.”
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