When Alex Ariza came out with a statement that “he didn’t leave Pacquiao, it was Pacquiao who left him”, it only showed an unfortunate flaw in the character of the guy. The statement tells us that Ariza believes he is much bigger than his fighter, that he believes he should get more credit for Pacquiao’s rise. He likes to think it was he who crafted those exciting wins, and that the fighter was just his medium. He is more of a showboat, a showbiz guy who should try his luck in Hollywood, and not in a boxing gym.
Not a few people believe that the Rios camp got Ariza primarily to play mind games with Pacquiao, and not for his fitness and conditioning skills. For surely, Rios didn’t get to his exalted position in the world boxing arena without being fit and staying in mint condition. The Rios corner wants Ariza’s presence to be a distraction, to take away Pacquiao’s and coach Freddie Roach’s focus on the job at hand.
But despite Ariza’s obvious knowledge of the Pacman’s camp rituals, his persona as a publicity seeker will slowly becoming a distraction in the Rios camp as well. Already, coach Robert Garcia has had to come up with statements about Ariza, that he is being “a help” and “doing a great job” in camp. They now realize that they have to deal with a guy who will compete for media coverage in their camp. Someone who could just as easily jump ship and rat on them on his next stop.
So as soon as the Pacman – Rios bout is done, expect Ariza to be booted out of the Rios camp. No fighter worth his salt – most especially the likes of Bam Bam Rios – will want to have an airhead like Ariza hugging more publicity than themselves.
As for Alex, he should try to get a long-term contract soon. I don’t think there’s a boxer-coach tandem around that will want to touch him with a 10-foot pole with that egotistical ‘bigger-than-thou’ attitude.
(Photos courtesy of fighthype.com, philboxing.com, examiner.com, adrempress.com, zimbio.com)