Ariza leaves Team Pacquiao?

Posted at 04/21/12 9:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza has reportedly bolted out of the fighting congressman’s training camp as the Filipino boxer prepares for his June 9 title defense against Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao’s co-trainer Buboy Fernandez told ABS-CBN News correspondent Jen Nievera that Ariza left the City of Pines at 6:30 a.m on Saturday.

Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Fernandez could not say the reason for the conditioning coach’s sudden departure from the team.

Ariza has been an integral part of Team Pacquiao as he oversees the Filipino’s conditioning, nutritional and supplemental needs during training.

He engineered Pacquiao’s successful ascent to several weight classes, while maintaining the Filipino champion’s trademark speed and punching power.

While Fernandez is confident that they can continue the fight preparations even without Ariza, he could not say who will take the place of the conditioning coach.

Ariza is known to have bad relations with Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Michael Koncz and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.

Pacquiao’s brother, Bobby, said one of the reasons for Ariza’s departure is that the conditioning coach also needed to take care of his other clients.

Among Ariza’s priority clients is middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who has an upcoming fight against Andy Lee.

Ironically, Ariza’s exit took place a day after Pacquiao’s surprise birthday party for the fitness coach.

After Friday’s training, Pacquiao treated Ariza and the rest of the team to dinner at a restaurant in Baguio. – With a report from Jen Nievera, ABS-CBN News Baguio City

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