Is Brandon Rios trying to get some inside information on Manny Pacquiao ahead of their Nov. 23 fight?
Rios recently hired strength coach Alex Ariza on a short-term trial basis, according to MaxBoxing.com. Ariza previously served as Pacquiao’s strength coach, but he was fired in August after a conflict with Freddie Roach.
Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, was responsible for Ariza’s firing, according to Pac-Man. Roach hired Ariza in 2008 to help Pacquiao, but he had difficulty working with the strength coach. Roach complained that Ariza tried doing everyone’s job.
Ariza similarly complained about Roach, telling Yahoo! Sports that the trainer changed after becoming more famous once he got his own HBO show.
“He’s not the same person he was and you can talk to people in boxing who will tell you that,” Ariza said. “He’s become a celebrity. He said I became difficult to work with, but I never changed my approach.”
Ariza did admit that he is difficult to work with, so maybe he does have some understanding of what Roach experienced. The firing is not too surprising; Roach had been complaining that Pacquiao was being worked too hard ahead of recent fights and that the fighter’s calves were hurting from too much working out.
Pacquiao’s loss seems to be Rios’ gain at this point. Rios has been posting on Instagram about working with Ariza and seems to be pretty happy about things: