Alex Ariza Breaks Down Pac-Man’s Next Potential Opponents - Says He Prefers A Third Marquez Clash For Manny

By James Slater - Alex Ariza, Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, spoke with the media after Pac-Man’s terrific win over the much bigger but slower Antonio Margarito on Saturday. And, though the pound-for-pound king easily dealt with the Mexican’s advantages in size, height and reach, Ariza says he hopes Manny will fight at no higher than welterweight from here on in - echoing promoter Bob Arum’s recent sentiments.

Ariza, as quoted by, said he and Pac-Man have spoken about going back down in weight for future fights, and that the two agreed how they’re “kind of done with it [moving up and up in weight]..

“I think it’s lost its appeal for us trying to push [through more and more weight divisions],” Ariza said. “When is enough enough? Until we get him hurt?”

The notion of the awesome Pacquiao getting hurt in a fight, no matter who against, may seem silly to some; especially when considering how great he was against the massive Margarito. However, it does seem Pacquiao’s future ring career will be fought at no higher that welterweight. Ariza explained:

“I think 140 is great for us, 147 is great for us especially with the way we’ve been training. Like I said, enough with the freak shows. It’s not a circus. Put somebody his own size in there.”

Ariza gave his take on what will happen if and when Pac-Man fights one of the two spoken-of opponents next.

“Everybody knows I like [a third fight with Juan Manuel] Marquez,” he said. “It doesn’t matter [which weight the fight would be at], 140, 144, 145, whatever [weight] they want to fight us [at]. [Shane] Mosley? He’ll be tired after 15 minutes, what’s the point of that fight? Manny knocks him out and probably, Manny won’t even train for that fight. That guy’s [Mosley] a quitter. He quit against Mayweather in three rounds.

“Marquez? He’s got balls, he’s got heart. [He’s] stupid enough to think he can beat Manny. So that’s a great fight.”

As many fans have said in the recent past, the idea of a third fight between Pacquiao and the Mexican great Ariza referred to as “stupid” is a wholly appealing one. The problem was the weight the two would meet at, what with Marquez being a natural lightweight and ineffective at anything approaching welterweight. But “El Dinamita” could possibly be able to fight well at 140-pounds, and Ariza did mention that weight as being a good one for Pac-Man.

Maybe, if he gets past Aussie tough guy Michael Katsidis on Nov. 27th, Marquez will agree to bulk up to 140 for a potentially thrilling third fight with the legend he has drawn with and lost a split decision to.

As for the potential Pacquiao-Mosley fight, Ariza is probably correct, and if the fight happens Pacquiao becomes the first man to halt “Sugar.” As faded as he looked in his last two outings, the near-40-year-old Mosley wouldn’t be able to live with Pac-Man’s speed, work-rate or punching power.

The fight we all want to see, of course, is Pacquiao-Mayweather - but we will possibly have to make do with Pac-Man Vs. someone else. Of the options for Manny, a third go with Marquez at 140-pounds looks the most attractive to this writer. How about you?

Article posted on 16.11.2010

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