Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios are participating in one of the most talked about bouts of 2013. Unfortunately, the fight isn’t being discussed because it’s such a thrilling showdown between equals. It’s mostly just because, as a result of how top-heavy boxing is, there are only a few notable fighters that are followed in each division. Pacquiao, and to a lesser degree Rios, happen to be two of those fighters.
Because of how genuinely uninteresting the storylines surrounding this match are, people have been struggling to find anything of interest to talk about. That’s why Alex Ariza has been in the headlines as much as he has over the past month.
You will recall, Pacquiao and Ariza parted ways earlier this year after a mostly successful run together. Ariza’s tendency to butt heads with Freddie Roach made things at that camp tense, but so long as Pacquiao was winning, everyone gritted their teeth through it. When Pacquiao stopped winning, a change needed to be made.
Given the fact that Pacquiao turned Ariza into a recognizable name, and Ariza helped push Pacquiao into all-time greatness, you’d think that the pair could keep things reasonably amicable even during a divorce.
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Not so much.
Immediately after being spurned by Pacquiao, Ariza turned around and joined Rios’ camp. Initially their relationship was only slated to be temporary, but apparently Rios liked what he saw. Either that or he liked the Pacquiao secrets that Ariza was spilling. Either way, he kept Ariza around. Pacquiao hasn’t said much about Ariza’s defection (although, is it really a defection if the guy was fired?), but privately you know he can’t be pleased that a former team member is feeding info to the enemy.
Ariza doesn’t seem to care much about Pacquiao’s feelings anymore, though. Recently he sat down for an interview and offered his thoughts on who he thinks will emerge victorious this November. Check it out:
Safe to say Ariza won’t be getting a Christmas card from Pacquiao this year.