By Edward Chaykovsky
Strength and conditioning coach Alexa Ariza is not exactly satisfied with the testing schedule for next month’s HBO pay-per-view headliner.
Ariza currently works with Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23KOs), and he previously worked for several years with eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38KOs).
Rios will challenge Pacquiao on November 23rd at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China.
VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association] is in charge of the random drug testing protocol for the fight.
During the weeks of training, Ariza says Rios has been tested twice by VADA, but they have yet to test Pacquiao and have no plans to do so until the boxer arrives to China.
"Brandon [had his] second test by VADA [on Tuesday]. VADA just confirmed they have yet to test Manny and there are NO plans to test him until China. That's fair. [Rios's trainer] Robert [Garcia] asked them why only Brandon, they [no testing of Pacquiao] until China," Ariza stated.
Ariza says he is "definitely not suspicious of Manny," but doesn't believe VADA is testing both fighters on an even level. Pacquiao is currently training at General Santos City in the Philippines and theoretically his geographical location might be playing a role in VADA being able to test him. This is the first time in Pacquiao’s career where the boxer is taking part in a random drug testing protocol.