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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ariza dares Mayweather to fight Manny

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By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated March 15, 2010 12:00 AM

ARLINGTON – Conditioning coach Alex Ariza said yesterday Manny Pacquiao would beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr. more easily than he trounced Joshua Clottey to retain his WBO welterweight crown on points at the Cowboys Stadium here last Saturday night (yesterday morning, Manila).

Ariza said Mayweather wouldn’t be able to take Pacquiao’s punches like Clottey who withstood the impact of the blows to survive 12 rounds without a single trip to the canvas.

“Mayweather’s a pussy,” said Ariza. “If Manny banged him like he did Clottey, Mayweather wouldn’t last four or five rounds. He’d quit because he wouldn’t stand the beating.”

In case the Mayweather fight pushes through, Ariza said Pacquiao would concentrate on speed more than power during training.

“Against Mayweather, it’ll be speed, speed and more speed,” said Ariza. “Manny wouldn’t have to work on his power too much because we know Mayweather couldn’t take his punches. Manny will use speed against Mayweather and the power will take care of itself.”

Mayweather is set to take on WBA welterweight champion Sugar Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1. If Pretty Boy wins, he’ll be lined up for a shot at Pacquiao in a welterweight unification showdown - if there is agreement on drug-testing rules.

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said whatever the supervising athletic commission decides on the drug-testing rules should be followed. Mayweather backed out of earlier negotiations, insisting for Pacquiao to undergo Olympic-style random blood-testing. Roach said Mayweather’s position is out of whack as no fighter should dictate on a supervising commission with regard to how it should conduct its functions.

“It’s a fight everyone wants to see and Mayweather’s insistence is just ruining the sport,” said Roach. “Manny’s willing to face Mayweather under conditions set by the supervising commission. But Mayweather’s got to beat Mosley first because if he loses, then Manny will go ahead to fight Mosley instead.”

Ariza said preparing for Clottey involved carefully monitoring Pacquiao’s body composition.

“Manny had to bulk up and we wanted him to build on his muscle fiber in gaining weight without compromising his speed,” said Ariza. “We wanted Manny to bring up his power. When Manny weighed in at 145 3/4, he was just where we wanted him to be. He entered the fight weighing 150. Clottey? He probably weighed about 10 pounds more.”

Ariza said Pacquiao never got tired despite maintaining a high work rate in dominating Clottey.

“He could have gone on a few more rounds,” he said. “He showed incredible stamina. Even in the late rounds, he kept putting the pressure on Clottey and throwing power shots just like in the (Miguel) Cotto fight.”

Ariza was in Pacquiao’s corner for the Clottey bout with trainer Freddie Roach, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez and cutman Miguel Diaz. He has been a fixture in Pacquiao’s team since the David Diaz fight in 2008.

Clottey didn’t dispute the decision and said it was his first real loss in a career that started in 1995, the same year that Pacquiao made his pro debut. The Ghanaian has often said that he shouldn’t have lost to Carlos Baldomir, Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto in three previous blemishes in his 35-4 record, with 20 KOs and a no-contest.

“I didn’t really get hurt,” said Clottey. “I’m fine. Manny’s fast. He used his speed. I was tight. I was timing my punches but he kept throwing. I wasn’t nervous. After this loss, I think I’m ready for anybody. I’m sorry for losing but I’ll come back big.”

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