There is presently a palpable buzz in the city of San Antonio ahead of tonight’s Showtime-televised duel between WBA welterweight champion Adrien Broner and former titlist Marcos Maidana.
Things got a bit hyped at Friday’s weigh-in but even before the two fighters took to the stage there was another storyline that caught the sport by storm.
Former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios failed his post-fight drug test following his Nov. 23 unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in Macau, China, as the Kansas native was found to have traces of Methylhexaneamine in his system, a drug known for being associated dietary purposes, according to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
Upon hearing the news, several insiders immediately turned their attention to Rios’ strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
Ariza is in San Antonio, as he also works with Maidana, and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer quickly defended the embattled coach over what he feels has been unfair criticism.
“People always love to blame Ariza for everything,” Schaefer stated. “I don’t think that’s fair. I’m going to leave it at that. Just automatically, people point fingers at Ariza. That’s bullsh*t. I think Ariza is doing a terrific job and he’s an asset to the sport of boxing.”
Asked what may have happened with Rios’ test, Schaefer didn’t have an ideal explanation but threw out some possibilities.
“Maybe it was some vitamins he took,” Schaefer said. “Maybe it was some food or whatever. Maybe it was part of the Chinese food he ate. I don’t know. But just to go and point fingers at Ariza, that’s not right.”