By Miguel Rivera
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza has accused Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach of abusing his medical condition by using it to his advantage.
Ariza had previously worked with Roach and Manny Pacquiao for six years, but a few months ago he was fired by the veteran coach. When Ariza was let go, he was quickly hired by trainer Robert Garcia to work with Brandon Rios.
This Saturday, Ariza will be in the opposite corner for the first time when Pacquiao faces Rios in the main event of an HBO Pay-Per-View event from Macau, China.
Tempers exploded on Wednesday morning, when Roach verbally clashed with Garcia and Ariza at a local gym. The two sides clashed over gym time. Roach wanted Garcia and his team to leave, but they refused.
As Ariza and Roach exchanged words, Roach started moving forward to physically confront Ariza, who kicked the trainer back. There were questionable comments made by both sides, with Ariza taking several swipes at Roach's physical condition due to Parkinson's.
''I take responsibility for what I did 100%. I know what I said and know what I did. I can't take it back; it was the heat of the moment. I did what I did because he accosted me, he got close. I know Freddie Roach for six years, and I know he has a tendency to be aggressive. If he did it again, I'd do it again, too," Ariza told Universal Deportes.
''There's one thing that anger brings out is the truth. 'He hides behind that whole Parkinson's gig, not to demean Parkinson's. He feels very threatened. People gave me a lot of credit for Manny's rise. It's sad. It's transparent he's at the end of the road, and this is his way of trying to hang on to what popularity he has.'