Pacquiao vs Rios Prediction: Former PacMan strength coach sees an upset?Written by Lee Cleveland
"Yes, I do. I see Brandon Rios beating Manny Pacquiao."
Ariza, of course, was recently told by Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach his services for Team Pacquiao were no longer required. As a result, the respected strength coach is now working with Brandon Rios.
The high-profile strength & conditioning trainer, who also once trained Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, apparently learned about his firing late last summer via a Freddie Roach internet chat session and told BoxingScene last month:
"Manny could have called me himself and told me over the phone in a dignified, professional and affectionate manner, and said ' hey bro I don't want to have any trouble in my camp at this time I'm just going to let you go.'"
"He didn't have to wait. He could have told me months ago instead of waiting for the last minute. He was not the one who did it he let Freddie do it over an internet chat."
Ariza added he still loves the Philippines and referred to the nation as his 'second home.'
Does Ariza, who is predicting an upset, have any substantive 'insider' details or he is just attempting to give his new employer a boost of confidence while, at the same time, trying to get Freddie and Manny to second-guess themselves and their decision to release him?
Manny is purportedly already at 145 lbs and looking lean and mean, but a fighter's weight five weeks ahead of a major bout isn't always reflective of his overall conditioning.
When asked several weeks ago by Hustleboss' Chris Robinson how it felt to have Ariza on his team, Rios stated, "He does a great job. Everybody knows I'm working with him. He knows his s**t."
Rios also compared and contrasted Ariza's style to Memo Heredia, another high-profile strength trainer who Brandon worked with previously.
"Different styles of training. Memo likes to work with weights. Alex, he works with the core, the leg movement. He likes to work on speed and everything. They both are great. Memo does great at what he does, Alex does great at what he does. There's no comparing them."
Will Brandon Rios greatly benefit from Ariza's strength and conditioning regimen?
And does Ariza, from having worked with Team Pacquiao in the past, know any insider secrets that can be used against his former employer should Pacquiao vs Rios enter the 'trenches' and become a battle of attrition?
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.