"It's kind of funny, Ben. It's almost an ironic situation. I was under the same kind of fire, Manny was, for so many years when we were doing the same type of strength and conditioning program; a strict regimen, strict dieting, you know. For me, it's kind of funny that now it's getting flipped on to the other side. Sadly to say, it's irresponsible when nobody has any real facts, any documentation, just to hurl out accusations like that. Not only is it damaging to the trainer himself, who I think is doing a great job with what he's doing, but it's a disservice to all the work that Marquez is doing," stated world-class Strength & Conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who shared his thoughts on recent accusations made regarding Juan Manuel Marquez and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Check out what else he had to say!
BT: Double A, there's been quite the stir about some recent comments that were made regarding Juan Manuel Marquez using PEDs. There's a lot of people taking what Freddie Roach recently said and just running with it. I wanted to come to an expert in the field and actually get their opinion. With that said, what are your thoughts on those accusations?
AA: It's kind of funny, Ben. It's almost an ironic situation. I was under the same kind of fire, Manny was, for so many years when we were doing the same type of strength and conditioning program; a strict regimen, strict dieting, you know. For me, it's kind of funny that now it's getting flipped on to the other side. Sadly to say, it's irresponsible when nobody has any real facts, any documentation, just to hurl out accusations like that. Not only is it damaging to the trainer himself, who I think is doing a great job with what he's doing, but it's a disservice to all the work that Marquez is doing. He's showing that he's taking this fight serious, he's showing that he's doing everything possible beneath the sun to make the changes to beat Manny. Here's the thing, that's what's supposed to happen. I mean, here's a guy, who probably has literally centuries of old Mexican traditional changing, who felt that Manny Pacquiao deserved the kind of respect to go outside the box, hire a scientist, a researcher, a Strength & Conditioning coach who follows the science of exercise and nutrition, to apply these new methods and new training techniques, and these are the results that you're going to get. If you're asking me do I think he's using something? No! That's what's supposed to happen when you follow a strict regimen, you got a smart Strength & Conditioning coach, you're following his orders, and you're following his program. That's what's supposed to happen.
BT: So in other words, people who know nothing about the science of exercise and nutrition are jumping to conclusions based on their lack of knowledge, whereas someone like you, who is educated on strength and conditioning, see absolutely nothing wrong with the way Marquez looks; you're not even thinking about that.
AA: I'm not thinking about that. It's the same thing when Manny fought Cotto and he put on all that weight and he looked so massive and everybody said this, that, and the other. That's what's supposed to happen. I mean, I have a lot of respect for his Strength & Conditioning coach. I expected this. I mean, it's not shocking to me. Do I think there's drugs involved? Do I think we need drug testing? No. It's not going to change one thing or the other. The fact of the matter is that you have a guy that's working hard and is doing everything. What do you guys want? Seriously! If a guy looks great, he's on steroids; if he looks like shit, it's the guy's fault. You can't win in this business.
BT: Do you think the type of shape that Manny gets in working with you and the type of shape Marquez has gotten in working with Heredia speaks to the benefits of working with a really knowledgeable Strength & Conditioning coach as opposed to some of those guys out there who don't really know how to apply the right techniques to the sport of boxing?
AA: When you get a real Strength & Conditioning coach who knows the science, who knows the research, who studies it, who applies the science, who also experiments with the science in trying new techniques, and has the experience, this is what you get. When you get a hack in your corner, then you get the other stuff that happens. You get guys getting knocked out, you get guys testing positive, you got guys that are making up excuses for this, that, and the other; that's what happens on the other end. When you have guys that know what they're doing, then these are the results that you get. Like I said, either way, we lose. If we look great, then it's performance enhanced, and if we looks shitty, then it's our fault as well. We're never going to win. So what do I think? I think that they're doing everything that they can and they're on a level playing field. I think it's just showing me hard training. I watch what they're doing on 24/7. Unfortunately our side isn't that interesting, maybe it's lack of imagination by the guys who are filming us, but I mean, do you anything different when you used to watch Cotto, when you used to watch Manny train? Do you see anything different? Maybe differently, you know. Maybe different techniques and exercises and different things, but you're seeing a lot of the same stuff that we do, so is it inconceivable for me to sit there and think this isn't possible for Marquez and I'm the only one who can make somebody look completely different and do a physique transformation? That's ridiculous. It's ludicrous. I mean, it really is. It's absurd. I'm not the only guy out there. Again, I keep saying it, this is what's supposed to happen. Marquez is a guy who went in there, gave his whole 100% confidence and trust in his Strength & Conditioning coach, listened to him, followed the program, did the work, and since he has never really, really been exposed to it, to the scientific comprehensive program, his body is now adapting to it and making changes that should have been made a long time ago. He's just making the changes.
BT: So long story short, in your opinion, Angel Heredia is doing everything the right way.
AA: Yes. Let's stop the drama. I mean really. Does there always have to be something? Does everybody have to be questioned? Does everybody need to fabricate something? Why can't we just give a guy a pat on the back and say we respect the work that you're doing? The fans are the ones that are losing when you start to throw out allegations like that because then you question the work that's being done. All I see right now is hard work.
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