By Edward Chaykovsky
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza held few words back when discussing Manny Pacquiao's twelve round decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Ariza had previously worked with Pacquiao for several years - until he was fired by trainer Freddie Roach in 2013. Since the start of the year, Ariza was assisting Mayweather in his training camp.
Since last year, Ariza has been very critical of Pacquiao's corner and said the Filipino star needs to revamp his entire team if he intends to become the Pacquiao of old.
“Clearly he’s not (the same). But that’s not to say he’s not capable of being that Manny. Tonight I just saw a Manny that was fighting by himself. I did not see any direction, I did not see them trying to set up things to turn the fight into Manny’s way. Manny was doing the same thing every round,” he told Rappler in an exclusive interview.
“I think the old Manny is still there he just needs a better team that can bring that out in him. I just think those people are not competent enough to do that. I think you look at the Manny back then and you look at the Manny now. If we got half of the Manny we got back then, I think it would’ve been a much better fight tonight. He got shut out.”
Ariza also said he doesn't believe Pacquiao lied about a right shoulder injury coming into the fight, but again blames the team for allowing the boxer to move forward with the contest.
“I don’t think he’s lying but every fighter has to fight with injuries and have to overcome certain things like that, physical ailments that happen in camp. I don’t think any fighter goes in there 100%. We had a lot of rough sparring we had injuries as well, but we use a lot of new scientific methods in the recovery and I think that helped us,” Ariza said.
“You can’t blame Manny for his injuries, you can only blame his team for not being smart enough, for not having the knowledge to address those issues. I don’t see that there should be any excuses in this, you should just take your loss and just say ‘Hey he was the better guy tonight, my team obviously didn’t prepare me the way they should’ve.’”