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Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, is an outspoken guy. After Pacquiao had a very close call a few weeks ago against Juan Manuel Marquez, Ariza went on the record blaming Manny for slacking in his conditioning routine in camp.
Now he has decided to go after promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank (Manny's promoter) for the fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. not happening in a recent FightHype interview. Including talking about exactly why Dana White was right about Arum's greed:
I think that's the fight that everybody wants to see. Here's the thing, Dana White is 100% absolutely correct. Bob Arum is a greedy pig. Now I see. That's exactly why Dana White has been so successful and Bob Arum sees him as such a threat, because he puts the ights together that the people want to see. It's about putting the best fights on. That's why people love the UFC so much, because the fights are so competitive. Even though he had the biggest fight with Nick Diaz and they went back and forth at each other, Dana did the right thing by the sport and he still put him and BJ Penn together and made them fight. Arum hates Floyd Mayweather, can't stand him, doesn't want to see him make a dollar, can't stand Golden Boy, doesn't want to do business with them, but instead of doing what's best for the sport, what's best or the fans, and what's best for the fighters because they'll get the payday of a lifetime, no, it's all about him. "I don't like him, so f**k him!" I mean, right or wrong? Unless you can tell me and convince me otherwise, because I'm thoroughly convinced and believe that Floyd really does want to have this fight. I think he really wants to have this fight. As far as he knows, he's right. He's right. Bob is the one interfering and f**king s**t up.
There are a few things to take away here.
First off, it's unfair to compare Pacquiao vs. Mayweather to Diaz vs. Penn. Fights between UFC fighters don't carry the same risk to Dana that putting Pacquiao up against Mayweather does to Arum. Should Manny lose that fight, suddenly Arum's biggest fighter has his brand significantly damaged while not gaining anything on the other side. Penn losing to Diaz or Diaz losing to Penn, neither of those outcomes had profoundly worse consequences for Dana and the UFC.
It's the same reason we didn't see Dana going out of his way to make Fedor vs. Couture or Fedor vs. Lesnar when those were the most talked about "must-see" fights in the sport. The fact that Dana controls damn near every fighter worth controlling allows for much more ease to make "the fights the fans want to see." Although I still don't exactly think there is a list of any consequence beyond Floyd vs. Manny that boxing hasn't delivered.
Ariza also conveniently ignores that it was a combination of Manny's "fear of needles" and Floyd's constantly moving targets with drug testing that shot the fight down when it was even bigger than it would be right now. There are so many more people at fault here than simply Bob Arum. And this is coming from a guy who wrote previously about how Arum is a greedy pig.
And one could also mention how Ariza was talking two days after the fight about how he and Manny wanted a fourth fight with Marquez next. Not exactly the kind of thing someone who was knocking down walls to try to get to a fight with Floyd would be saying.
So yeah, Arum is a greedy pig. But things are never as simple as people try to make them out, especially when it comes for Floyd vs. Manny.
Editor's Note: To be clear, I'm not saying Dana didn't try to make Fedor vs. Lesnar. I'm saying that without Fedor under contract, he wasn't going to make a fight involving him and his biggest draw. For very, very good reason.