By Tan Wang
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is best known for his prized pupil Manny Pacquiao, but recently he put his fighter into a bad situation by questioning the mysterious shakes that strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza used to give Pacquiao to drink when he was part of the team.
Ariza and Roach have bad blood, Roach fired him and felt he was disruptive by trying to interfere with his instructions in the corner of Pacquiao’s fights. Right after his firing, Ariza found work with Robert Garcia’s gym and was hired immediately by Brandon Rios to help him prepare for Manny Pacquiao. Before the fight Roach and Ariza got into a heated altercation over gym time and Ariza kicked Roach after the two exchanged vulgarities.
Roach painted Ariza as dirty since Brandon Rios tested positive for a banned substance in Macau, China right before his fight with Pacquiao.
“He used to give Manny a drink every day before a workout and I would ask him what’s in that drink and he would never tell me, and I said I need to know what’s in that drink, because you know you’re giving it to my fighter, and if something goes wrong I’m gonna get the blame, in my opinion he’s (Ariza) is a little shady” Roach told Maxboxing’s Radio Rahim.
This is a slippery slope because Freddie Roach is basically throwing Manny Pacquiao under the bus here. Slandering or questioning Alex Ariza about the drinks he used to give his fighter puts a cloud of suspicion over his accomplishments. This could give some validity to the claims by Floyd Mayweather that Pacquiao was on PED’s which helped him climb up various weight classes and go toe to toe with much bigger men.
Roach is basically saying that he believes Ariza was putting something into Pacquiao’s drinks without his knowledge, making it sound like Pacquiao’s accomplishments were aided by the help of something Ariza put into his drinks.
It could also explain the sudden drop in punch resistance, stamina, speed, and power in recent years since Mayweather called Pacquiao out on drug testing.
If his own trainer suspected his conditioning coach was giving his fighter something what does that tell you?