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Freddie Roach ousts Alex Ariza as Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach

Kevin Iole

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Alex Ariza (L) worked with Manny Pacquiao since 2008 (AP)

Trainer Freddie Roach told Yahoo! Sports Wednesday that he dismissed Alex Ariza as Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, ending a five-year run for Ariza with one of the world's most successful boxers.

Roach hired Ariza in 2008 and Ariza was instrumental in helping Pacquiao move up in weight and win world titles at 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 pounds.

But Roach and Ariza have always had an uneasy relationship. With Pacquiao soon to start camp for an important Nov. 23 fight (Nov. 24 in China) with Brandon Rios in Macau, Roach felt it important to dismiss Ariza.

Roach said he would use therapists at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Orange County, Calif., to help Pacquiao overcome the cramping problem he's had in his calves in recent fights. Otherwise, Roach said he would run Pacquiao's strength and conditioning program.

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Trainer Freddie Roach (L) and Manny Pacquiao (AP)

"I had a discussion with Manny and I told him that I had a lot of trouble working with Alex, because he was always trying to do everyone else's job," Roach told Yahoo! Sports. "I told him that Miguel Diaz had told me he would not work with Manny as his cutman if Ariza was around. As I said, he wanted to do everyone's job but his own. I told Manny it was hard for us to work with him.

"Manny said, 'You're the boss. You hired him.' When he said that, I fired him."

News that Ariza would not be working with Pacquiao first surfaced Tuesday in an online chat at ESPN. Pacquiao was asked if he was working with Ariza for the Rios fight and he answered by saying that Roach fired Ariza.

Yahoo! Sports finally reached Roach on Wednesday to confirm that.

Roach also said he supported Pacquiao's decision to undergo random blood and urine testing administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for the Rios fight.

"VADA seems like the most legit one out there, and so I do support that," Roach said. "We have nothing to hide."

Yahoo! Sports reached out to Ariza for comment, but was unable to reach him.


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