THE former strength and conditioning coach of Manny Pacquiao said the Filipino boxing hero doesn’t deserve a rematch against unified welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather.
Neither does Alex Ariza believe that Pacquiao’s shoulder injury was serious enough to affect the outcome of the so-called ‘Fight of the Century’ that failed to live up to its hype.
Ariza, who now works with the Mayweather camp, said the way Pacquiao lost and was neutralized by the unbeaten American in the 12-round title match is proof enough that the fight doesn't need a sequel.
“There are 47 fighters out there who deserve a rematch more than Manny does," said Ariza in an interview with David Mayo – who has covered Mayweather in his entire career - of mlive.com.
Ariza, of course, is referring to the previous opponents of Mayweather, who raised his unbeaten mark to 48-0 following his unanimous decision win over Pacquiao.
The 38-year-old American earlier agreed to give Pacquiao a possible rematch next year, only to change his mind later on and called the Filipino a ‘sore loser’ and ‘coward’ who put up a lot of excuses after the loss.
Ariza, who served as Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach for almost six years, didn’t call him out by name, but challenged the Sarangani congressman to accept the fact that he lost to a better fighter.
“Simply, you don’t want to accept the dominant performance of another guy over yourself,” Ariza said. “Be a man. Stand up and say, 'You know what, he was something else that night, he neutralized me, he didn't let me do what I want, I was completely frozen, he froze me from doing anything.'”
The Pacquiao camp blamed the right shoulder injury the 36-year-old Filipino champion suffered in training camp and aggravated during the fight, for his failure to be competitive the way he’s been known for inside the ring.
Pacquiao and his group asked for medication to relieve the pain on the injured shoulder two hours before the match, only to be turned down by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), which wasn’t made aware of the injury until fight night.
Although an earlier medication taken by Pacquiao had been approved by the US Anti-Doping Agency, his camp didn’t notify the NAC about the injury during the customary check-up prior to the weigh-in.
Four days after the fight, Pacquiao underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff on his shoulder.
Not even that, though, could convince Ariza about the seriousness of the injury during training camp and on fight night.
“When something like that happens, the arm goes dead, almost immediately. There's a deadness. There's a feeling that something's wrong," said Ariza, who began working for Pacquiao during his fight with Oscar Dela Hoya until his stunning loss to Juan Manuel Marquez during the fourth installment of their rivalry.
“But what I saw was a guy throwing that right hand plenty, and he seemed to be doing fine with it," Ariza said. "I didn't see that he was trying to make adjustments. You know, when a guy hurts his hand, all of a sudden, he switches, orthodox to southpaw, or southpaw to orthodox, and he'll work with that other hand, or he'll lead with the left a little bit more. He'll do something. I would've noticed. I would've said, 'Something's wrong here, why is he doing that?'"