by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao has renewed ties and will begin training with strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza on Monday morning in Los Angeles following his arrival in LA last Saturday in time to watch the Floyd Mayweather Jr – Miguel Cotto title fight.
Ariza told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he had spoken to Pacquiao for a few minutes before and after his Bible study and that their conversation “went fine” and that along with trainer Freddie Roach they “planned for the week” which, Ariza said “will begin with jogging on Monday morning.”
There were some doubts about Ariza's role in Pacquiao's preparation for the WBO welterweight title defense against undefeated Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9 after Ariza left in the middle of Pacquiao's Baguio C ity training camp after getting permission from Pacquiao.
The strength and conditioning coach who teamed up with Roach in the Pacquiao training regimen some weeks before Pacquiao smashed WBC lightweight champion David Diaz in nine rounds indicated he expects Pacquiao to continue with his demanding plyometric routine which Pacquiao had already begun at his training camp in Baguio City.
Ariza said “its hard to tell” about Pacquiao’s condition because he “looked so tired after a long plane ride and he was giving a Bible study. We talked a little bit before that and talked a little bit after and I won’t know anything until I see him tomorrow to find out whether the media reports were true.”
Informed that the compassionate nature of Pacquiao showed even in sparring against Russian welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov, Ariza noted that “he (Manny) doesn’t know how to push it too.”
Evaluating the Mayweather-Cotto fight. Ariza said Cotto “looked great in the eighth round and had it. But he gassed out in the ninth. If he had pushed the championship rounds that was his (Cotto’s fight) and I think they would have given it to him because he was really, really great especially in the eighth round.”
Asked about Pacquiao’s chances in the remote possibility that Mayweather would fight him, Ariza said “it depends on how Manny decides to train for it. If he goes back to the way he trained back in the days (when he beat De La Hoya, Hatton and Cotto) I think that Manny right there is invincible. But I haven’t seen that Manny yet.”