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Pacquiao and Roach talk about Ariza’s absence


PhilBoxing.com




BAGUIO CITY – World Boxing Organization Manny Pacquiao might still be undecided on prodigal conditioning coach Alex Ariza, but if chief trainer Freddie Roach will have his way, he should be given the pink slip for abandoning the camp.

Pacquiao admitted to this writer that, indeed, Ariza had his permission to leave for the United States when they talked last Friday, but added he’s still doesn’t know whether he will be back.

Pacquiao added though that the coach promised to rejoin the team when the training resumes at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
“We will be seeing each other in L.A. when we move there and, in all probability, we will be talking about what will happen next,” Pacquiao told this writer during training session Monday.

The eight-division kingpin denied though there is a rift between him and his coach as some sectors speculated.

Roach, on the other hand, averred that Ariza ‘s decision to abandon the team in the middle of preparations for Pacquiao’s coming fight against undefeated junior-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley was unprofessional.

“He’s not a pro,” Roach told a pair of sportswriters lamented during the eight-division champion’s training session Monday at the Shape Up Boxing Gym inside the Cooyeesan Hotel here.
Roach’s statement was the harshest said so far two days after Ariza left for the U.S. in a huff purportedly to concentrate on Julio Cezar Chavez’s own priming up for his next fight against Andy Lee on June 16.

“What Alex had done is very unprofessional. He signed a contract to do a job and he practically rescinded that deal unilaterally. How can he do that? The 52-year-old five-time trainer of the year asked.

“Worse, he made the decision because of money. That to me is unacceptable,” Roach, who himself had recommended Aiza to Pacquiao, said.

Asked if there’s still chance for Ariza to reclaim his position, Roach retorted: “Well, we know how kind hearted a man Manny is. It’s up to him whether to accept Alex anew. It makes no difference to me. If he’s back, I can still work with him. If not, we’ll have to move on.”

Roach, in an earlier interview last Sunday, said he himself will handle the conditioning aspect of preparations. “I have been doing that job all my life until Alex took over five fights ago.”
“I can still do it,” he assured, adding, that in the meantime, local boy Marvin Somodio will be assisting him in implementing the conditioning program.

Somodio, in fact, presided over Pacquiao’s stamina-strengthening regimen aided by assistants Buboy Fernandez, biometrics exercises, and Nonoy Neri in the champ’s roadwork.

Roach, likewise, denied misunderstanding between Pacquiao and Ariza was the reason for the latter’s departure. Not even the long-standing rift between the Filipino icon’s adviser Michael Koncz and the conditioning coach.

Ariza himself had been very vocal in saying in not a few interviews that Koncz and Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum have long been asking for his head.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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