By Keith Idec
The fragile professional partnership between Manny Pacquiao and Alex Ariza apparently has been broken.
Pacquiao stated during a “Live Nation” chat on Monday that trainer Freddie Roach has “fired” Ariza, with whom Roach has always had a contentious relationship. Rumors of Ariza’s departure from Pacquiao’s camp have long swirled, but Ariza always overcame Roach’s very public disapproval of the outspoken strength and conditioning coach being a part of Team Pacquiao.
Pacquiao was asked during the “Live Nation” chat by Ronnie from Seattle when he would start training camp and if he would work with Ariza for his Nov. 23 fight against Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao replied: “Three months prior to the fight. No, Freddie fired Alex.”
Ariza’s Twitter account, @ArizaFitness, still touts Ariza as the strength coach for Pacquiao and Julio Cescar Chavez Jr. Ariza is helping Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) prepare for his Sept. 7 super middleweight fight in Los Angeles against Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KOs).
Unlike previous camps, the 34-year-old Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) is expected to train exclusively in the Philippines before he leaves for nearby Macau, China, where his 12-round welterweight fight against Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) fight will take place. The Filipino superstar usually spends at least part of his training camp at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., but he won’t train there at all for this fight.
Rios and Pacquiao will continue a whirlwind press tour Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan. The seven-stop, 23,722-mile journey to promote the HBO Pay-Per-View main event will conclude Thursday in Los Angeles.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.