F Pacman's fitness coach in trouble - Powcast Sports

Pacman's fitness coach in trouble

By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Is Alex Ariza out of Team Pacquiao?

Freddie Roach, the chief trainer, won’t say anything about it, not for the moment, and Mike Koncz, Manny Pacquiao’s chief adviser, wouldn’t say yes or no either.

But cutman Miguel Diaz, an old, reliable hand in Pacquiao’s corner, has hinted that the strength and conditioning expert from Colombia is out of the picture.

Diaz bumped into Filipino orthodentist Ed dela Vega somewhere in California the other day, and the former, who’s had a history with Ariza, said he’ll be there for the Mosley fight.

“Who else will it be if not me? And guess who is not working Manny’s corner? It’s that fraud who just recently started working for him lately,” Diaz told Dela Vega, the maker of customized mouthguards.

“I have been with Manny for years and that fraud is new. So, guess who is not working for Manny?” Diaz added, referring to Ariza, as Dela Vega said.

Ariza is not that new to Team Pacquiao. He’s been there since the David Diaz fight in 2008, and has helped the Filipino champion become the only boxer to win eight world titles in as many weight divisions.

But for the Antonio Margarito fight last November, things didn’t seem as rosy as before between Ariza and some members of Team Pacquiao, and midway through the camp, they had dropped some of Ariza’s training methods.

“Manny wanted some change. He wanted to go back to the old ways, and none or less of the plyometrics and isometrics and certainly none of swimming, which Alex has introduced to Manny as part of training,” said a team member.

Ariza was also vocal of his thoughts on how Pacquiao trained for the Margarito fight, and in one of HBO’s 24/7 episodes, he said some things about the “quick (side) trips” the boxer took at the thick of training.

Ariza may have gotten Pacquio’s attention there or even drawn the boxer’s ire.

Another 24/7 episode showed Pacquiao seated beside Ariza as they travelled, and when the latter asked for some air, saying it felt a little hot, Pacquiao said, “Then take off your jacket. You say it’s hot, then take off your jacket. It’s common sense.”

From thereon, you knew something was boiling.

Ariza was in the news lately for a squabble with Amir Khan and the boxer’s father, after the rising star from the United Kingdom defeated Marcos Maidana last December.

Some said it had something to do with a contract that Khan, the WBA light-welterweight champion, signed with Ariza, a contract that was not accepted by the father, Shah Khan.

Ariza had confirmed his split-up with Khan, after a short-lived partnership, and said recently that the 24-year-old star still owed him money for as fees for him working for the Maidana fight.

He lashed out at the boxer’s father.

“I was surprised by what happened, but it has nothing to do with Amir. His father has just shown his lack of experience of dealing inside boxing,” Ariza told Garreth Davies of The Telegraph.

“I understand Amir is his meal ticket and he does not want to go back to driving cabs for a living. Freddie [Roach] is surprised. Amir will still be working with Freddie. But they still haven’t paid me for preparing Amir for the fight against Marcos Maidana. We have a contract.”

The father, however, said otherwise.

“We had no contract with him (Ariza). Our deal is with Freddie. Freddie brought in Alex Ariza as conditioning coach. There were ‘issues’ with Alex, and Amir was not happy about it,” he said.

Khan said Roach has introduced him to a new conditioning coach.

Will this one be the new one in Team Pacquiao as well?



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