By Luis Sandoval
Robert Garcia is currently busy getting his fighters ready for their upcoming assignments as Brandon Rios is gearing up for his fight August 2nd and Marcos Maidana is due this week to begin getting ready for hopefully his rematch with Floyd Mayweather. The only difference this time is Robert will be doing it without the help of strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
News broke a few weeks ago that Garcia and his fighters would no longer be using the services of Ariza who had previously worked with Marcos Maidana, Mikey Garcia and Brandon Rios. The pairing initially looked to be a good one but things have changed recently and Garcia and his fighters have decided to take things back to how they used to be.
When BoxingScene spoke to Garcia, he was asked to respond to those who wonder how his fighters will do now that they won’t have the assistance of Ariza and if there is cause for concern regarding if they can get into optimum physical shape.
“I’m not worried about this at all. Alex Ariza is great at what he does. I still say he’s the best at what he does. He knows his stuff, he knows how to prepare the guys. We had great results but it was just different things that my fighters decided. It wasn’t really my decision, it was more my fighters. You know Maidana, [Maidana’s manager Sebastian] Contursi, Brandon, Mikey and my dad with things that went on they decided to do it old school; the way we used to do it,” Garcia would tell BoxingScene.
Garcia points to how Rios was able to still be in great condition for his fights with Anthony Peterson, Mike Alvarado, and even earlier against Miguel Acosta. The same for his brother Mikey Garcia who Garcia says was able to become a world champion without having strength and conditioning coach by his side.
“We can still do it without Ariza or anyone else. Just doing what we do in the mornings, I became a world champion without a conditioning coach. Fernando Vargas became a world champion without a conditioning coach. When the conditioning coach started coming in, that’s when Fernando started having his losses. Brandon, the conditioning coach, that’s when he lost to Alvarado. So it’s not really about ‘it’s Alex Ariza and that’s why you’re winning the fights’. No, no, you don’t win fights because Alex Ariza is the conditioning coach. We win fights because these guys train hard and are dedicated. Like I said, he’s the best at what he does but we can do it without him. We’ve done it before, why wouldn’t we do it again?,” said Garcia.
Garcia has no ill will towards Ariza who he says he is still friends with and lives literally a few blocks away. The change of not having Ariza will first be put to test when we see how Rios does in August in his fight but Garcia is confident that his fighters are there first for his services regardless if Ariza is there or not.
"They believe in us. Thomas Dulorme is here.[Marco Antonio]Rubio is on his way down. Maidana is on his way down soon. They know Ariza is not down here with us. Why are they still coming back? Or else they would’ve said ‘where’s Ariza? Let’s give Ariza a phone call’. It’s not about Ariza. They come to get my service, my work and the rest? The running? Wake up mother***ers and let’s go run. That’s what you got to do. My dad at 5 in the morning he was knocking on my door and saying let’s go run. And then go home, take a shower and go to school. My dad would go to work and then afterschool, let’s go to the gym. I became world champion,” said the former Trainer of the Year.
Things have taken a change at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy but its most important piece is still in place and that’s Robert himself. All his fighters are on board with not having strength and conditioning coach and taking matters back into their own hands.
“We had a great run with Alex. Great conditioning coach, he is. Good friend of mine. I still get along with him. It’s not like ended up in a fight or anything. It’s just the fighters thought maybe we don’t’ need it”.
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