By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Undefeated pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr’s strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, believes a rematch with Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez would be best for Mayweather’s planned return to the ring on September 12 in Las Vegas.
In an overseas telephone conversation with the New Standard/BoxingScene.com, Ariza said Marquez “is now a full-fledged welterweight and with ‘Memo’ Heredia working with him Marquez has got better and better” as evidenced in his crushing sixth round knockout of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
It was reported on BoxingScene that Marquez’ promoter Fernando Beltran indicated that Mayweather was on top of their list because Marquez wished to avenge his humiliating twelve round defeat in September 2009.
Beltran feels a rematch will be a different story because Marquez is now bigger than he was almost six years ago. BoxingScene quoted Beltran who said “obviously we would love to fight Mayweather because while they fought each other already, it took place under very adverse conditions and now things would be different.”
Ariza said Mayweather was “doing a lot of traveling and just enjoying time off and will probably resume training after another month” during which he, as a basketball fan, would enjoy the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.
While conceding that “we all have our preferences” Ariza who was Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning guru during an amazing run where the Filipino boxing icon scored spectacular victories over David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito said that a rematch with Pacquiao “makes sense from a business point of view.”
He said a Pacquiao rematch sometime next year would be feasible, should Mayweather keep his unbeaten record and look to break heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 unbeaten streak, although it would probably cut its pay per view numbers in half which would mean around 2.2 million buys.
However, Ariza reiterated his belief that “there is no point in fighting Manny if he has the same people around him. I would like to see a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight again if Manny revamped his team because after all the talk we and the fight fans expected more.”
Ariza, whose ouster from Team Pacquiao was engineered by Roach, Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz and promoter Bob Arum, clearly has no love lost for the three and pointed out that “nobody took responsibility for not having a plan “B” against Mayweather and just kept making one excuse after another.”