LAS VEGAS – Guess who will be back in Manny Pacquiao’s corner when he squares off with Timothy Bradley four days from now?
Strength and conditioning Alex Ariza that is.
Trainer Freddie Roach confirmed that Ariza will once again work with him on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) after the two met with Pacquiao late Monday night to thresh out whatever differences they had in the past.
Roach said it was Ariza who sought the dialogue with the boxing star.
“We all sat down together and explained what their job is and what they intend to do. We had a long talk about that last night,” said the 52-year-old trainer.
“I don’t see any problem,” answered Roach when asked about working with Ariza again.
Roach had earlier said that given the choice, he doesn’t want Ariza to work Pacquiao’s corner in the Bradley fight. The five-time Trainer of the Year was obviously still pissed off that the strength and conditioning coach hurriedly left their training camp in Baguio last month to work with unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez in Mexico.
Ariza insisted his trip had the blessing of Pacquiao.
With the conditioning coach back in the circle, Roach said the two of them will be joined in the champion’s corner by Filipino assistant Buboy Fernandez and cut man Miguel Diaz.
Backtracking from his earlier stand, Roach said he will give Ariza the liberty to talk to Pacquiao during the fight. “He (Alex) will be there for that, and I love hearing some [other] voices in the corner,” said the trainer.
But Roach made it clear that Ariza, who had doubled as a cut man in Pacquiao’s previous fights, should let “Miguel Diaz do his job.”
If not, “then, I’ll say we have no problem,” Roach said.