Manny Pacquiao Has a Problem, and his Name is Alex Ariza

| by Alex Groberman
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Manny Pacquiao’s history with Alex Ariza is well-documented. The two began working together as Pacquiao started approaching his career peak, and regardless of who truly deserves credit for what transpired after their relationship began, the end results are a matter of public record. Pacquiao won consistently, and each time he won in dominating fashion.

About a year ago, word began to leak out from Pacquiao’s camp that Ariza was bumping heads with certain people. The most notable name mentioned was Freddie Roach’s. As the murmurs began to get louder, it quickly became apparent that sooner or later a choice would have to be made. Surely enough, earlier this year, Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports broke the news that Ariza’s relationship with Pacquiao’s camp had been terminated. Most assumed that would be the last we’d heard of Ariza.

As it turns out, not so much.

A few weeks ago, it was revealed that Ariza is now working with Brandon Rios – the man Pacquiao is slated to face off against this November. While the extent of their working relationship isn’t clear yet, just the mere fact that Ariza and Rios are in cahoots now is sort of startling.

This past week, Ariza spoke with the good folks at Boxing Scene and expounded on what exactly led all involved at this point. The most notable revelation was that, allegedly, he learned his was fired via the media.

“Manny could have called me himself and told me over the phone in a dignified, professional and affectionate manner, and said ‘hey bro I don’t want to have any trouble in my camp at this time I’m just going to let you go,” Ariza said. “He didn’t have to wait. He could have told me months ago instead of waiting for the last minute. He was not the one who did it he let Freddie do it over an internet chat.”

When pressed on why he jumped ship to Rios’ camp, Ariza offered no apologies.

“You think I would have ever left him? I would never have left him but I have to pay the bills too. I respect Manny and his decision. When Kevin Iole called me and told me  I was fired,  I said I respect Manny if that’s what he wants. I  don’t want to make it complicated I want the best for him and planned to take a vacation and spend some time with my family. "

How much of a boost will Ariza provide Rios’ camp with? It’s impossible to say. We’ll all find out together this November, though.