Roach fires fitness coach

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Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has fired conditioning coach Alex Ariza in a major move to resurrect the career of Manny Pacquiao, who will come out of a year-long inactivity against Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau.


In place of Ariza, who began serving under Pacquiao in 2008, will be German-born Canadian Gavin MacMillan, an expert on speed and power training based on his work with athletes from triathlon, track and field and the National Football League.

This is not the first time that news came out regarding Ariza’s dumping since it was not that the Filipino puncher himself – but Roach – who gave the Colombian native Ariza the pink slip.

MacMillan heads Sports Science Lab, one of the world’s fastest-rising elite athlete training centers, and is being groomed as the fellow who will bring back the old Pacquiao.

However, Rios doesn’t believe Pacquiao can still be rehabilitated following the sixth-round knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

During a chat on ESPN during Rios and Pacquiao’s stopover in Bristol, Connecticut, as part of their promotional tour, the 27-year-old Mexican-American expressed doubts whether Pacquiao can still rebound.

“I’d say it’s his chin,” said Rios when asked about Pacquiao’s weakness. “Let’s see if he can take a great shot now. Another one is him coming in too much.”

Pacquiao’s ultra-aggressive style also cost his downfall against Marquez, who sent a careless Pacquiao to dreamland with a right hand to the kisser.

Pacquiao and Rios will do two more appearances in New York and Los Angeles before setting the stage for their respective training camps. (Manila Bulletin)

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