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ALEX ARIZA: "AS FAR AS I KNOW FROM MANNY, HE'S NEVER DISAGREED"

By Ben Thompson | October 12, 2011
ALEX ARIZA:

"Dude, I'm not privy to whatever they're agreeing to, you know? I just know that Manny's going to take whatever tests that the commission asks for. Have I heard anything about outside testing? Honestly dude, I haven't heard them speak about outside testing ever. Manny has never asked me or mentioned anything to me about it. Behind closed doors, he's never said to me one way or another that he cares or doesn't care, to be honest with you. He's never said no, he won't do it, and he's never said yes, he will do it, to me....To be honest, 100%, I don't know if he agreed or did not agree. As far as I know from Manny, he's never disagreed. From his mouth to my ears, it's never seemed like that to me, so whatever reasons that fight's not happening, it's got nothing to do with Manny. That I can tell you," stated strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who clarified comments he made while in the Philippines regarding questions about whether or not Manny Pacquiao is willing to take the additional blood and urine tests that Floyd Mayweather is now requesting of all of his opponents. Check out what else he had to say!

BT: How's Linares doing? His fight's coming up this weekend. I heard some reports that he and Manny were getting a little rough during sparring.

AA: Yeah, I mean, you know, it's natural. You got a really fast, young guy, and, you know, Manny...you know, when two guys start sparring with each other enough, they get comfortable with each other. It's natural. It's what happens. These guys start to let their hands go a little bit and, you know, that's all that happened. Nothing out of the ordinary. Typical stuff. I've seen it with a lot of fighters. People get caught, people get shook, and, you know, Manny's a fucking heavy-handed, explosive guy, so you just gotta be on your toes with him. That's all.

BT: Yeah, yeah, that's what I figured. It sounded like people were making it a bigger issue than it really was.

AA: Yeah, you're right. I mean, anytime Manny staggers somebody in sparring, that's a big deal, or if somebody gets the best of Manny, it's a big deal. But you gotta remember, Linares has been in camp for two months. He's been living with me for two months. Manny has just now started his first week of sparring. You've got a guy who's ready to fight and prepared to fight, and Manny's just getting warmed up, so, you know. But Linares got some great, great sparring and experience. This is the first time that I've seen Manny be so instructive, so forthcoming with advice, and work so close with a sparring partner. I've never seen that before. I really saw a liking from Manny to Linares; some kind of connection.

BT: So you got, what, four or five weeks at Wild Card now?

AA: Three weeks here and one week in Vegas.

BT: I gotcha. No extra distractions or anything like that?

AA: Not really. I mean, it's been really smooth. Everything has been going really well. There wasn't any [distractions], to be honest with you. It's just been a really smooth and focused camp. It was really, really easy for me. Also having Linares there made time go by really fast, you know, focusing on two fighters.

BT: Yeah, it looked pretty laid back. I was laughing my ass off watching all the videos of the guys in Team Pacquiao sparring each other (laughing).

AA: Oh yeah. You know, with Manny, you just never know; he's got his own Jackass show.

BT: Well, from the way things sound, I'm starting to feel a little bad for Marquez. I mean, I'm glad he's getting the payday and all, but at what cost, you know?

AA: So do I, you know. I think it's a mismatch. I mean, you know Manny. Manny's used to fighting these gigantic, big guys. You're putting in a 38-year-old guy, who's smaller than Manny, against a stronger, faster, bigger puncher...I mean, aside from Divine Intervention, he doesn't have a chance. Hopefully he gets caught early, he gets knocked the fuck out, and he doesn't take too much of a beating.

BT: You know, while you were in Baguio, you did an interview that caused a little ruckus when it was caught on video and posted on YouTube. I guess some local reporter asked you about the additional blood and urine tests that Mayweather wants and you commented that Manny was only going to do whatever tests are required by the commission. Did you want to clarify what that was all about?

AA: Dude, I'm not privy to whatever they're agreeing to, you know? I just know that Manny's going to take whatever tests that the commission asks for. Have I heard anything about outside testing? Honestly dude, I haven't heard them speak about outside testing ever. Manny has never asked me or mentioned anything to me about it. Behind closed doors, he's never said to me one way or another that he cares or doesn't care, to be honest with you. He's never said no, he won't do it, and he's never said yes, he will do it, to me. I mean, as far as I know, Manny's just going to continue to abide by whatever the commission and whatever testing is regulated where the venue is held. You know, those guys ask the same questions over and over again. To be honest, 100%, I don't know if he agreed or did not agree. As far as I know from Manny, he's never disagreed. From his mouth to my ears, it's never seemed like that to me, so whatever reasons that fight's not happening, it's got nothing to do with Manny. That I can tell you. From his mouth to my ears, whatever has come from Manny's mouth to my ears, there's no reason this fight is not happening on his end.

BT: Well, I know you're busy, so I don't want to hold you up any longer. I'm sure I'll be touching base with you as Manny's fight gets closer. Plus you got Chavez and Khan with fights coming up too, right?

AA: I'm tellin' ya, Chavez is in shape right now. He hasn't stopped training. He's ready to go for Manfredo. I want Chavez to definitely make a big statement against Manfredo. I gotta get Amir ready for Peterson too; I respect Peterson. He's got good puncing power, you know, he looks good.

BT: No doubt. Alright bro, I'll catch up with you here soon.

AA: Sounds good my man. Take care, bro.

CLICK HERE IF YOU MISSED PART 1 OF THIS IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH ALEX ARIZA



[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]

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