By Chris Robinson
As recently reported, former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios has acquired the services of strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza heading into his Nov. 23 clash in Macau, China with Manny Pacquiao.
As outspoken of a figure as you will find in the sport, Rios was actually in a subdued mood on Thursday afternoon prior to another workout as he discussed what it’s been like working with Ariza thus far.
“It’s something different,” Rios revealed. “Different exercises I’ve been doing. It’s tiring. I do get tired. I felt that I’m more tired this time. But, hey, I love to work out and I think it’s going to come out good. That workout is just insane. After that, and coming to the gym; we’ll be ready.”
Prior to his rematch with Mike Alvarado this past March, Rios had been testing the waters with a different strength coach, Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia, a man known best for his work with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Rios was asked to compare the techniques of Ariza to those of Heredia and paid each man their respect wit his response.
“Different styles,” said Rios. “Different styles of training. Memo likes to work with weights and Alex, he works with the core, the leg movement. He likes to work on speed and everything. They’ve both done great. Memo is great at what he does and Alex is great at what he does. There’s no comparing them.”
Ariza made his name in the sport largely due to his role with Pacquiao from early 2008 all the way up until his knockout loss to Marquez this past December.
Tension in the camp between Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach and Ariza ultimately led to his exit from the team, but it also paved the way for a new union with Rios as well as his stable mate Mikey Garcia.
Giving the circumstances of what happened with his forthcoming opponent, it was only natural for Rios and his side to look for an edge.
“You know what? They fired him for some reason,” Rios stated. “I don’t know. That’s not up to me. That’s up to their camp. But you know what? They fired him so we hired his *ss. Why not? Why leave him on the sidelines? A man that knows what he does and does a great job at what he does; we can’t leave it to go to waste.”