By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com spoke with strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, to discuss our recent story where Shah Khan, father of WBA 140-pound champion Amir Khan, revealed that Ariza would no longer be working with his son. Ariza, who works alongside Khan's trainer Freddie Roach, has helped prepare Khan for his last six fights. Khan returns on April 16 at MEN Arena in Manchester. No opponent has been set.
"We just needed to move on. Amir needed to move on. Freddie is going to bring in another conditioning coach. He already mentioned a name, but we'll wait [to disclose the name] until he gets everything." Shah told BoxingScene.com.
According to Ariza, he doesn't have any problem with the actual fighter. Ariza is involved in a financial dispute with members of Khan's team. There appears to be an issue over Ariza's compensation for Khan's "Fight of Year" win over Marcos Maidana, which took place last month at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Ariza claims that members of Khan team broke into his hotel room and stole several contracts related to the coach's compensation for Khan, Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"They broke into my hotel room and what they did was, they stole the contract that I had made with Amir. Now they don't want to pay me for the work that I did with Amir Khan. They already admitted to Freddie Roach's lawyer [Nick Khan] that they did steal the contract," Ariza told BoxingScene.com.
"What I don't understand, is why steal my contract with Manny and why steal my contract with Chavez Jr.? To me there are two things that you can never get rid of, being a liar and being a thief. That's what they are. They went in my room and stole legal documents. And number two, two of the documents had nothing to do with them. Who goes into somebody's room and goes through their bag and steals a folder with a contracts? Who does that?"
Ariza has experienced problems in the past with members of Khan's management. When it was time to get paid for his services, Ariza claims Team Khan would advise him to get the money from Roach.
"I'm an independent strength and conditioning coach. I don't work for Freddie. It's up to them to pay for my services. It's not up to Freddie. I have never met a more less experienced team in my life. This is a team that had a shoe company make him boxing gloves that didn't even weigh the appropriate weight for a championship fight. They didn't even check before they got there. I had to argue to have Everlast put in," Ariza said.
"There were almost a few times where Freddie and I didn't get on a plane because they wouldn't disclose how much Amir was getting paid on a fight. They've tried to hide numbers and stuff like that. It's been a long time that these people have been dishonest. It is what it is."
However, as previously noted, Ariza doesn't have any issue with Khan, and has no problem with continuing their working relationship.
"I have no problem with Amir. I don't work for Shah or [manager] Asif [Vali]. I work for the fighter. My contract is with Amir Khan. If I heard it from Amir's mouth, then that's one thing. But to hear it from Shah? He's not the manager. My problem is with them, there is no reason to punish the kid. Amir Khan is a good fighter. He always worked his ass off for me and never gave me any sh*t," Ariza said.
"Like I said, I don't work for Shah. I work for Amir. The thing with Team Khan, these guys all rely on Amir. If something happens to Amir Khan, they have nowhere to go tomorrow. With me, I have somewhere to go tomorrow. I'm with Chavez this week. I'll be in the Philippines in three weeks working with the Olympic athletes there."