By Edward Chaykovsky
There seems to be a rift building in Manny Pacquiao's training camp. A few days ago, strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza left Pacquiao's camp in the Philippines to help prepare middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for his upcoming fight with Andy Lee on June 16th.
Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, is upset with Ariza's decision to depart, as the rest of the team continues to work for the June 9th defense against Timothy Bradley. Roach and Ariza were also training junior welterweight Amir Khan for his scheduled rematch against WBA/IBF champion Lamont Peterson on May 19th.
“He’s not a pro,” Roach said on Philboxing.com. “What Alex had done is very unprofessional. He signed a contract to do a job and he practically rescinded that deal unilaterally. How can he do that?.Worse, he made the decision because of money. That to me is unacceptable.”
For the remainder of their training camp in the Philippines, Roach replaced Ariza with local conditioning coach Marvin Somodio.
Ariza told ABS-CBN that he received permission from Pacquiao and Khan to leave early. He plans to reunite with the fighters in early May when they arrive to Los Angeles to train at the Wild Card Gym.
"Not only does Manny know my situation, Amir [Khan] knows our situation. Julio knows the situation and knows that I'll be back in time to start training with him," he said.
Pacquiao denies that he has issues with Ariza and confirmed their conversation regarding his early departure, but refused to give confirmation on whether or not the popular conditioner will remain with the team. Roach says the decision is fully in Pacquiao's court.
“Well, we know how kind hearted a man Manny is. It’s up to him whether to accept Alex anew. It makes no difference to me. If he’s back, I can still work with him. If not, we’ll have to move on,” Roach said.