The relationship between Ariza, the former strength and conditioning coach of Pacquiao who got into a tussle with Freddie Roach recently, and Pacquiao’s camp slowly broke down in their last few fights together.
During Pacquiao’s preparation for his fight against Timothy Bradley, Ariza broke camp and flew out to Los Angeles to help Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. with his training. Although he did it with Pacquiao’s permission, the ditching left a bitter taste in the camp.
The partnership finally ended when Freddie Roach, with Pacquiao’s approval, fired Ariza prior to their preparations for the upcoming fight against Brandon Rios. The strength and conditioning coach, however, did not have to wait long for a new job as Robert Garcia scooped him up quickly.
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“We heard that they got rid of him and Brandon told me we should get him because he’s good at what he does. He’s done a great job not just with Manny but with other guys,” Garcia said about Ariza.
“Them getting rid of him was the best thing for us. He’s the best at what he does. He’s helping us make weight, helping us do the morning workout; all the things I never knew.”
With Ariza overseeing Pacquiao’s physical conditioning, the former pound-for-pound king scored victories over David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. But Ariza wanted to be more than just a strength and conditioning coach. He began giving input on Pacquiao’s boxing which irked Roach.
According to Garcia, this is not a problem in their camp.
"I told him ‘You’re going to do your job. My job is my job.’ He’s in the gym and he wasn’t trying to advice anybody. He’s not even working the corner for this fight,” Garcia said. “Just like Ariza does not get involved with what I do, I don’t get involved in what he does.”
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When he switched camps, Ariza brought along with him inside information on how Pacquiao runs his camp. He knew Pacquiao’s routine, his strengths and his weaknesses. Ariza also had in his possession precious tapes on Pacquiao’s sparring.
“Alex told me he had a lot of Manny’s sparring on video but I didn’t look at it because that was then, that was when he was still really good,” Garcia explained. “I don’t need to see that. I don’t need him to give me any advice. He does his work; he’s not in the corner.”
Asked on his opinion on the break-up between Pacquiao and Ariza, Garcia said that he was never interested to know anything about it. “Never even asked him questions about his relationship with the Pacquiao camp,” the trainer said. “He’s working with us now and that’s his job.”