Ever since his lackluster performance against Juan Manuel Marquez last November, WBC welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has had his share of adversity.
Besides getting bashed by the media for his role in the failed negotiations with Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao has had some legal problems in the Philippines, prompting many boxing fans to question his mental state going into his June 9 bout against undefeated Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao suffered his latest setback a few days ago, when long-time coach Alex Ariza decided to leave his camp in the Philippines, to go and train with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. According to Ariza, Pacquiao was aware of his intentions to leave camp early, but trainer Freddie Roach seemed to have a different point of view.
“He’s not a pro,” Roach said about Ariza’s departure. “What Alex had done is very unprofessional. He signed a contract to do a job and he practically rescinded that deal unilaterally. How can he do that? Worse, he made the decision because of money. That to me is unacceptable.”
With Ariza gone, Roach will have to take over the role of strength and conditioning coach, but he’s certain he’ll be up to the task.
“I have been doing that job all my life until Alex took over five fights ago,” Freddie Roach added. “I can still do it.”
With so much drama surrounding Pacquiao’s camp, it’s hard to bet on him going into the fight against Bradley. Skill-wise, Pacquiao is the technically superior boxer, but that won’t save him if his focus isn’t there on fight night.
At 28 years old, Bradley understands what a win against Pacquiao will do for his boxing career. Motivation won’t be a problem for Bradley, and it seems like his odds are getting better with each passing day.
Roach doesn’t seem bothered by the controversy surrounding his fighter though. He remains confident as the fight draws closer, declaring Pacquiao will knock Bradley out.
Eddie Alinea, “Pacquiao and Roach talk about Ariza’s absence”
Roderick Osis, “Roach: Nothing more to prove for Pacquiao”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.