THE ARIZA-DIAZ ISSUE IS A NO-BRAINER
By Ed de la Vega, DDS
Mon, 28 Feb 2011
Lately many had been said about the alleged feud between Manny Pacquiao’s team members, conditioning coach Alex Ariza of Columbia and cutman, Miguel Diaz of Argentina.
The allege feud should not even be an issue, except of course for people who loves to create intrigues for one reason or another.
We know that both gentlemen are first class persons and they do a superb job for Pacquiao.
Therefore, if indeed a misunderstanding separates them, then they should settle the issue themselves. No need to involve Freddie Roach or force Pacquiao to make a choice.
These two gentlemen are both adults and had been involved in the boxing business for ages. Therefore, fixing the alleged misunderstanding themselves should be a no-brainer.
Ariza and Diaz must get together and evaporate the issue and make it as though it never happened. If they can not do that, it’s time for Pacquiao and Roach to look somewhere else. There is no need to add fuel to the fire that burns in Pacquiao’s camp.
It is not fair either to force Pacquiao to make a decision to settle the issue between the two. But beyond that it is not fair at all to fire one and keep the other as both collectively contribute to the success of Pacquiao on the ring.
Now, if these two gentlemen can not settle the issue before training camp starts, the best solution is for Pacquiao to get rid of both of them.
I know that the above suggestion will touch a lot of nerves. Therefore before people, including Ariza and Diaz get mad at me for suggesting it, allow me to state
If I had my way, both of them should stay. Period!
But as Roach mentioned in some reports, Manny “can whip himself to shape.” In a sense that is true and he has done that before. More importantly, he has his “old boys” to help him out. Now, the said “old boys” may not be as good as Ariza. Ariza has a scientific approach to body conditioning compared to the conditioning Pacquiao’s old boy do that is based on “years of experience.” In fairness, both system works, albeit in different ways. Therefore the argument to remove Ariza from the team may not be too difficult for Pacquiao.
Now while it may be true that Diaz has a wide exposure in the “cut-man” business, and good at it, he is not the only one who can do the process of “giving a fighter one more round’ as they say in the business.
And, he is not perfect either. I have witnessed on a few occasion how Diaz carry on his role as a cut-man. As a person with medical background I quiver at Diaz’ perception, or rather his lack of perception on how to manage open wounds. Many times I see Diaz place the epinephrine-soaked q-tip in his mouth between his teeth. Yes, he does not place the cotton tip itself in his mouth, but he certainly breath at it, therefore potentially contaminating the q-tip before it’s applied to the cut
To my knowledge, Diaz has not infected anyone in his years of being a cut-man. But I hate to see Pacquiao to be the first one. It may not happen, but surely the potential is there.
I believe that a cutman must show extra-ordinary concern for the fighter not only during the fight but after the fight as well. More importantly, he must have knowledge of and exercise the tenets of infection control. There is more to it than simply stopping the bleeding.
Placing the q-tip between the teeth which exposes it to potential infection to me do not count as “following the principles of infection control”.
On that count, Diaz has failed and replacing him should not be such a tough decision to make either.
Finally, at the top of this article, I specifically mentioned Ariza being a Columbian and Diaz as Argentinian. I assure you I meant no ill-will about their ethnic origin. All I wanted to point out is there are a lot of Filipinos both at home back in the Philippines and here in the US who can easily fulfill the roles of both gentlemen.
Now, if there is an outside chance that Ariza and Diaz can not settle their differences themselves and come clean before the training camp begins and are both let go by Pacquiao, all I am suggesting is for Pacquiao and Roach not to look too far for replacements. There are plenty of choices from the Filipino community who can step up to plate at this very moment. And, most of these people have proven in the past that they too can do a hell of a job. Some have helped boxers involved in title fights and have effectively demonstrated their abilities.
It’s about time that they be given a chance to show their expertise in a fight involving Pacquiao.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ed de la Vega, DDS.
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