By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza will be in Manny Pacquiao’s corner but with a specific role to play following an agreement with Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach when he faces Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley later today at the MGM Grand Garden Arena says “we’re ready to rock n’ roll.”
Pacquiao weighed in at 147 pounds while Bradley came in one pound lower at the official weigh-in.
Most reports said Bradley looked ripped and ready while some said Pacquiao appeared to be a little softer.
Ariza told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard a short while ago, there’s a reason for this. He said “we did the right thing. We slowed down just with enough time for his body to bounce back. We had a good weight and didn’t try to drop kind of fast and trying to change back and forth. Physically I think he’s ready. There’s nothing to worry about the training, that’s for sure.”
Ariza said there were those who asked “how come Manny is not ripped?” to which Ariza’s reply was “I didn’t want him ripped this time. I didn’t want him all muscular. In the past the body fat was too low and I think that was a huge contribution to his dehydration and the cramping.”
He is now “much better physically. This is the first time that he did his running and training but not as intensely as in the past and that gave his body a chance to bounce right back and that’s why we came in with a nice weight.”
Ariza said when he left Pacquiao’s hotel suite he was “resting, relaxing with Jinkee (Manny’s wife). It was nice and quiet” which was in contrast to past fights when a horde of people would congregate in his room. .
Meantime, Pacquiao who is a die-hard Boston Celtics fan won't have to bother about missing the sudden death Game 7 against the Miami Heat. With the game beginning just hours before Pacquiao enters the ring Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said "I'm not waiting for Manny's request on this one. We will not begin the Pacquiao-Bradley main event until the Celtics and the Heat finish their game."
This means that sports fans watching the NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 won't have to make a choice between the basketball game and the boxing main event. They will be able to watch both. However, the action-packed undercard on pay per view will begin on schedule at 9:00 p.m. .