By Jake Donovan
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has used social media as his primary source for major announcements in his legendary career. The unbeaten pound-for-pound king has taken to his Twitter and Shots accounts to first reveal his fights with Marcos Maidana and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in recent past, as well as broadcasting the undercards for those events.
Taking that approach to new heights, Mayweather dropped a shocker in the wee hours of Friday morning - the news that strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza is, in some capacity, a part of 'The Money Team' for his upcoming September 13 rematch with Maidana.
"Alex Ariza stretching the champ for his 3AM (Vegas time) run," Mayweather posted through his verified Shots account .
It has yet to be confirmed whether or not Ariza is a full-time member of Mayweather's camp for this fight, or if the photo is just being floated to draw a rise out of his opponent. Ariza worked with Maidana prior to their first fight, in which Mayweather was handed the toughest challenge of his career in escaping with a majority decision in their May 3 thriller.
The controversial conditioning coach was recently relieved of working in such capacity with several fighters training with Robert Garcia. Prior to the separation, Ariza worked with Maidana, Brandon Rios and Mikey Garcia among other fighters at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.
Ariza is best known for his time spent with Manny Pacquiao while also working with several other fighters out of Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.
Mayweather was cryptic in previous comments regarding the difference in fighters before, during and after their time spent with the conditioning coach.
"I don't have anything against anyone, but I noticed that when the guy, Alex Ariza, was in Amir Khan's corner and when he faced Maidana, Amir Khan looked super strong in that fight," Mayweather noted prior to his first fight with Maidana. "Then you go back and look at it, I go look at Maidana's fights against certain guys, like when he fought Alexander, he was strong, he was still coming ahead because he's the kind of guy that comes straight ahead, and liked the looped shots. He wasn't as strong as he was in the Adrien Broner fight. In the Adrien Broner fight he was a lot stronger than he was in a lot of his past fights.
"I don't know if Alex Ariza plays a major role into that, but when I sit back and I look, I'm looking at Pacquiao versus Bradley and I notice ever since Ariza has not been with Pacquiao anymore there's been a total change in his power. So I look at things like that and I question things like that to myself, but I don't worry about anything and I'm not going to say nothing about Ariza because I think he's a pretty cool guy. I don't really know him, but we got USADA, which is the best in the world, and we're going to continue to go out there and do what we supposed to do."
Both fighters were proven clean through random drug test results from the fight. Maidana entered training camp for the rematch without the services of Ariza, prompting Mayweather to extend an invitation during the press tour to hype the September 13 event.
"I would like Ariza to come over to my camp, you know, since I don't use no physical trainer," Mayweather claimed this past July when informed that Maidana and Ariza were not working together.
Few seemed to take the comment seriously, as Mayweather has never worked with a strength and conditioning coach. Furthermore, he immediately followed up the comment with a reminder of a telling statistic to those who rely on such services.
"It's so crazy, we keep talking about these different trainers, and they supposed to be the best trainers in the world. But somehow, I keep beating all their fighters," Mayweather (46-0, 26KOs) quipped at the time.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox