By Luis Sandoval
It’s been a change of scenery for strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza as he’s gone from the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA to now working in Oxnard, CA at Robert Garcia’s Boxing Academy. Ariza is currently working with Brandon Rios, Mikey Garcia and now Marcos “Chino” Maidana as he will have a very busy end of the year schedule.
Rios will be taking on Manny Pacquiao who for the last 6 years was working with Ariza before both parted ways a few months back. While he is no longer working with Pacquiao, Ariza assures he holds no resentment towards Manny.
“With Manny I don't have any of course. Manny, he's a very good person. He was a great guy to me and I have nothing bad to say about him. No problem for me, nothing personal for me. [Manny] knows I'm just doing my job and supporting my family.” Ariza would tell BoxingScene.
““This is my career and he knows I always want to do the best work that is possible. The same way I tried to do the best for Manny, I'm going to come here and do the best for Brandon, for Mikey, for Maidana, and for Robert [Garcia]”.
While the split may not have caused a rift between Ariza and Pacquiao, the same can’t be said for Ariza and Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. Even before Ariza’s services were terminated from Team Pacquiao, him and Roach had falling outs but somehow managed to make things work.
Recently Roach hasn’t said the best things about Ariza and says he was the one who made the decision to fire him. Ariza was asked for his thoughts about Roach.
“You know as well as I do the things Freddie says about me and I think it’s transparent and kind of sad that he's become that sort of a person. But I understand it. What goes up must come down and he's at the bottom now so he's just trying to stay in the headlines. He's just doing what he can” said Ariza.
When talking to Ariza, you immediately get the sense he’s excited and happy to be in Oxnard. His work with Mikey Garcia has shown great results and the evidence is how Mikey looks physically more defined compared to his other fights. Even Marcos Maidana has now decided to use his services as well in preparation for his fight with Adrien Broner on December 14th.
We’ll see if Ariza can provide the same great results he had before with his new crop of fighters.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007.
Tags: Manny Pacquiao , Alex Ariza , Freddie Roach