by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who once worked for many years with “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao and trained Marcos Maidana when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the first time, has signed a two-year contract with Mayweather.
Ariza told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard/Viva Sports that - “I signed an official contract for two years to serve as Floyd’s strength and conditioning coach” and had spoken to Mayweather this morning.
He quoted Mayweather as telling him “I think I need you now” pointing to the fact that he (Mayweather) is getting on in years.
He said Mayweather has two more fights left on his $200 million contract with Showtime but he expects him to fight for the next two years.
When we asked Ariza about a possible fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, he categorically stated that as far as Mayweather is concerned “as long as Bob Arum (Top Rank Promoter) is involved, the fight won’t happen.”
He emphasized that if they “leave Manny alone” the mega-buck fight can happen.
Ariza said “I still love Manny” but added that when Mayweather called Pacquiao and made a $40 million offer for a fight with him which was eventually turned down, “it was because Manny passed the phone on to Michael Koncz (his adviser)” which was a mistake.
Ariza claimed that Koncz went to the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas “and made false promises” which allegedly included an effort to work directly with the Mayweather people and to keep Arum out.
Ariza insisted that Mayweather was prepared to let Pacquiao also share in the pay-per-view revenues but it was made to look like the $40 million was a flat offer and Mayweather would get all the PPV and ancillary income.
He said “you must remember that it was Mayweather who called Manny” which supports the contention that he wanted the fight to happen.
Ariza also said he had learned from Mayweather that the stories being peddled about negotiations between Showtime and HBO Sports and people working towards making the fight happen “were all lies” and nobody was negotiating.