By Edward Chaykovsky
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza has questioned the credentials of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. He feels Roach is "broken down" and no longer competent enough to provide elite level preparation for a fighter like eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Ariza worked with Pacquiao for five years - until there was a falling out with Roach in 2013, which led to Ariza being fired by the trainer. Since the start of the year, Ariza has been working with Floyd Mayweather Jr. After Ariza's departure, Roach brought back former conditioning coach Justin Fortune.
This past Saturday night, Mayweather won a twelve round unanimous decision over Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Does anyone really think that Freddie Roach is physically capable of training Manny Pacquiao at an elite level to fight a Floyd Mayweather Jr? Seriously. How could anyone be so naive and ignorant?," Ariza explained to Rappler.
"We have young able, moving bodies that are trying to emulate Manny Pacquiao. How can you be so blinded by your own ego that you think you can get this guy ready and use yourself as a conditioning compass for a fighter like Manny?"
Ariza says the reason for the falling out with Roach had to do with a conflict of opinion over trying out new training methods. He says Roach is not in favor of trying out new training methods and continues to train Pacquiao in the same manner in every single camp.
"You can’t expect to do the same thing over again and expect a different result,” Ariza said.
“(Over there, there were) so many people threatened with the unknown. They fear the things they don’t want to understand and learn. When a trainer says why try new things? That shows what his mental capacity is. Everyone should try to evolve, progress… that’s what science is. New things come out on nutrition and exercise every day."
When Rappler asked him to explain the major difference between working in camp with Mayweather and Pacquiao - Ariza said Mayweather is his own boss while Pacquiao is bossed around.
“Mayweather is definitely the boss. When the boss likes what I’m doing, that’s all that matters,” Ariza said. "[Roach] is a puppet of (Top Rank CEO) Bob Arum the same way (Pacquiao advisor) Michael Koncz is. Manny isn’t a confrontational person. He’s not the boss. That’s the difference."