By Chris Robinson
On Thursday afternoon, I caught wind of an article from my colleague Michael Marley, as he reported on an apparent rift taking place inside of Manny Pacquiao’s camp between trainer Freddie Roach and strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza. Apparently, Roach was thinking of coming to Pacquiao and suggesting that the eight-division champion either choose his services or that of Ariza.
Catching up the five-time trainer of the year inside of the Mandalay Bay Events Center moments before his fighter Amir Khan’s weigh-in for his bout with Danny Garcia tomorrow night, Roach revealed to me that reports of any inner turmoil taking place between him and Ariza simply aren’t true.
“That’s a complete lie,” Roach insisted. “I spoke to Manny yesterday for the first time since the fight and we talking. I ordered him a new belt for his gym in the Philippines and he asked me when he would leave the money and I told him ‘Manny, you can keep it for free’. That was the end of our discussion. He told me he’s going to meet with Bob [Arum] in a few weeks and we’ll decide on who he’s going to fight then.”
Roach insists that everything is up to Pacquiao as far as the Filipino superstar selecting who he works with and it is an issue that Roach won’t intervene on.
“Me and Alex Ariza, he’s not together with Amir Khan anymore, Chavez Jr., but him and Manny have some type of relationship,” Roach continued. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen there. That’s going to be Manny’s call. It’s not my call. The thing is, it will be up to Manny who he wants as he strength coach. Because the strength coach doesn’t work for me. They work for the fighter.”