LAS VEGAS—Floyd Mayweather Jr. said it himself. Conditioning coach Alex Ariza was a major factor in his victory over Manny Pacquiao Saturday night.
Yes, the same Ariza who worked in Pacquiao’s corner from 2008 to 2013.
“I’ve got Alex Ariza because I know he was a strong asset to Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather told the media during the post-fight conference of their colossal showdown at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather, who won by unanimous decision, said Ariza’s presence in his team already put Pacquiao in an “uncomfortable” position.
“I want to make it clear that [Team Mayweather’s hiring of Ariza] put me in a comfortable position and him (Pacquiao) in an uncomfortable position,” said Mayweather.
The undefeated American insinuated that Ariza knows Pacquiao’s strength and weaknesses, as well as his training methods, not to mention the injuries that he has suffered throughout the years.
Ariza was in Pacquiao’s corner when the Filipino stormed boxing’s weight ranks—from 135 pounds (lightweight) to 154 lb (super welterweight)—from 2008.
Under Ariza’s conditioning system, Pacquiao stopped bigger fighters like David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto and decisioned Antonio Margarito.
Ariza left Team Pacquiao in 2013 when his relationship with Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s chief trainer, hit rock-bottom following the Filipino’s defeat by controversial split decision to Tim Bradley and by a sixth-round knockout to Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
Roach fired Ariza a few months before Pacquiao fought and beat Brandon Rios convincingly in Macau.
In interviews with the foreign press, Ariza said he saw a different Pacquiao Saturday night from the one he used to train. He said Pacquiao’s team restricted the use of novel, scientific training methods he formulated.
With Mayweather, Ariza made the American train in a pool and try cryotherapy which, among other things, exposed the fighter to sub-zero temperatures to treat tissue damage and promote overall health.
Even Filipino two-time world champion Gerry Peñalosa was convinced Ariza did superb work in Mayweather’s conditioning.
Peñalosa said he observed that Mayweather’s condition was the same from round one to 12.