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Ariza on Pacquiao-Marquez III, Chavez Jr., Khan, More

By Chris Robinson

An earlier article by my colleague Ronnie Nathanielsz surprised me as well-known conditioning coach Alex Ariza gave his thoughts on the troubled Oscar De La Hoya, who recently checked himself into a rehab clinic according to TMZ.com. Ariza showed his sympathy towards the former multi-division champion and even suggested that if he were to get his spirits back that a possible fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would make sense down the road.
 
Ariza is working with Chavez Jr. as his strength and conditioning coach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles as his June 4th title shot against WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik inches closer. If successful, a fall showdown with Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto very well could be in the works so this is a crucial time in Chavez's career.

It had been a minute since I talked at length with Ariza and I decided to track him down earlier tonight to get his take on everything. Ariza also works with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who is likely to be meeting Juan Manuel Marquez in a trilogy in November in Las Vegas, and gave his take on that fight as well as the possibility of him working with Britain's Amir Khan once again in the future.
 
Continue reading for all of Ariza's thoughts...
 
Getting Chavez Jr. ready for Sebastian Zbik...
"It's good. We only got two weeks left so right now we're going to tighten up a few things and hopefully call it probably a week before the fight and get ready for the fight."
 
Seeing Chavez Jr. change since joining the Wild Card in April of last year...
"It's been such a dramatic change, not just for him, but I think for us. From all of the things we have heard about him, you have this idea in your head and you think that's what it is going to turn out to be but it's been the complete opposite. He's turned out to be probably one of the best athletes I have ever ended up working with. He's right up there with the other guys as far as his level of intensity and his work ethic and everything else. Not to mention, I'm sure that working with Freddie now, the same problems that he used to have about making weight and training himself, I guess he just focused on boxing and he leaves the weight and conditioning up to me and he's been re-motivated."

The possibility of Chavez Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto later this year...
"I just kind of found out about that myself. That's something where, we are working on this one first, we're going work hard and this is pretty much going to lay the blueprint down for that fight. So, we had a good, long, hard camp for this one. The longest we've ever had. For John Duddy we only had four weeks to get ready for that fight. But Billy Lyell we only had three weeks. So we've been in camp, it's going to be a full eight weeks by the time the fight gets here. Once we get past this one, Chavez knows he has to have a big night June 4th, and he's also looking forward to [Cotto] being a real option."
 
Oscar De La Hoya's recent struggles...
"I don't know the details of it. So, it's pretty shocking because I've seen him before and you just never know. Sometimes these athletes are just so used to being athletes that when they become businessmen, they get bored. It's not uncommon. It is what it is and I'm sure it happens to a lot of athlete when they get out of the game."
 
Finding the motivation...
"Hopefully he finds the motivation to get well  and maybe get back in the ring again. He's still young, relatively. It's not like he's been in a lot of wars, besides the one with Manny, so maybe he needs to find boxing again. That will be his motivation."
 
Mental damage from De La Hoya's December 2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao...
"I think it does because you think back on it and he probably said 'I should have done things this way, I should have done things differently'. I'm sure there was a lot of doubt and questions, being the athlete that he was I'm sure he is such a competitor. I think it's one of those things that he is probably questioning himself. There are a lot of variables, and I think the competitor in him is always going to be like that."
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Looking forward to Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III...
"I've always liked that fight. I think everybody knows that. I think that Manny's a completely different fighter and athlete now than he was back when he fought Marquez at 130. So, I'm really looking forward to that fight. I know Manny is. I think it's the kind of fight that most people are going to want to see. I think we all know that Marquez has heart, and of all things he has balls. He's not going to run anywhere and when push comes to shove, he's going to hold his ground and go right at Manny as well."
 
A possible reunion with Amir Khan...
"Right now I'm going to leave that to Freddie to comment on. My relationship is always with the fighters, not their management or anything like that. It's really up to the fighter and whatever they want to do."

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here , and he can be reached at [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LeadUppercut on 05-26-2011

[QUOTE=jamesjesse;10596191][B]I really don't see how people can keep saying Pacquiao was fighting has beens.[/B][/QUOTE] Here, I'll show you..... [B]Manny Pacquiao's last 7 opponents.....[/B] Lately, a number of observers have commented that all of Manny Pacquiao's recent opponents have either been…

Comment by inbox on 05-25-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;10592852]This message is hidden because inbox is a [B]genious[/B]. :lol1: Someone slap noddy for me.[/QUOTE] Bro, it's [I]genius[/I] :lol1: Please refer to my previous post :lol1:

Comment by jamesjesse on 05-24-2011

I really don't see how people can keep saying Pacquiao was fighting has beens. People tend to forget that in the pre-fight analyses (not the hype, but the so-called experts' POV) in some of these fights, Pac wasn't given a…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 05-24-2011

This message is hidden because inbox is a moron. :lol1: Someone slap noddy for me.

Comment by inbox on 05-24-2011

[QUOTE=boxingfan76;10589019]a guy that gets outpunched 10 times in the first fight and 30 times in the rematch aint no winner! a guy that loses 21 of 24 rounds aint a winner!, jmm owns pac s ass ,thats why pac convinently…

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