By Chris Robinson
Early last month, it was reported that Five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach had elected to remove Alex Ariza from the camp of Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao ahead of his Nov. 23 duel with Brandon Rios.
Ariza, the outspoken strength and conditioning coach, had been with Pacquiao dating back to the spring of 2008 following his split-decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez and played a huge role in his rise in weight while collecting additional titles at the lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight divisions.
Roach claimed that Ariza had become a distraction in camp because he was trying to do everyone else’s job and added that “Nobody really gets along with this guy” when we spoke at the Pacquiao-Rios presser in Los Angeles a few days after news broke of the rift.
Never one to bite his tongue, Ariza took to Twitter on Monday and issued the following.
“Because Freddie physically can't push the fighters anymore and it's caused a 2yr losing streak and It's getting fighters Knock Out!”
On Wednesday afternoon, Roach could be found inside of his new gym in Los Angeles, a facility that sits exactly underneath his famed Wild Card Boxing Club, as he and his new charge Miguel Cotto hosted the media ahead of the Puerto Rican’s Oct. 5 date against Delvin Rodriguez.
Asked for his thoughts on Ariza’s comment, Roach suggested that it would be best to ask the best sources possible, his core group of fighters, about his abilities.
“You know, he can say what he wants,” Roach stated. “All I ask you guys to do is, ask Ruslan Provodnikov, ask Miguel Cotto, ask Manny Pacquiao have I slowed down at all? Ask them that question. Do I believe in my fighters? Do I want them to win? Do I push them? Ask them that and they’ll give you the right answer.”
You can tell that Roach isn’t looking to prolong any kind of drama with his closing comments.
“The thing is, the more I talk about him the more press he gets and I don’t want to give him any press,” said Roach. “The thing is, I didn’t feel like he was doing anything for Pacquiao and I wanted Pacquiao to go back to the old ways.”
In yet another twist, it's been revealed that Ariza is now working with Rios in Oxnard, Calif. as he helps him prepare to face his former client.