Ariza still considers Pacquiao a friend
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s former conditioning coach Alex Ariza claims he still considers the Filipino superstar a friend despite his decision to team up with Pacman’s opponent, Brandon Rios.
The controversial strength coach was recently hired by Rios’ camp to work on the Mexican-American’s conditioning following his falling out with Team Pacquiao.
But Ariza pointed out that he didn’t join Team Rios to get back at Pacquiao.
"As far as the personal thing, I still consider [Pacquiao] a friend," Ariza told Ring.tv’s Ryan Songalia.
"I don't have a vendetta or want any kind of reciprocity. It's just I have to come here now, I have a new fighter and a new responsibility and my job is to win. That's what I'm here for,” he explained.
Ariza added that his main task as Rios’ conditioning coach is to make sure that the boxer will maintain his punching power and reflexes despite making a weight climb to welterweight.
He assured that his work doesn’t deal with Rios’ strategies against Pacquiao.
"Brandon is going to fight his fight and he's going to stick to Robert and whatever his strategy is," he said.
"It's not like they brought me out here to sit me down and go, 'Well, how does Manny move to the right? How does Manny move to the left?' Nobody does that.”