x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Manny Pacquiao ends dispute between trainers ahead of Bradley title bout

Documentary series exposed tensions between Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza, but legendary trainer insists there was no 'rift' between the men.

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley pose for the media ahead of their Las Vegas title bout
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley pose for the media ahead of their Las Vegas title bout

LAS VEGAS // Boxing star Manny Pacquiao has calmed tensions within his fight camp ahead of this weekend of this weekend's bout with Timothy Bradley - after a spat between his trainer and strength coach.

Legendary boxing trainer Freddy Roach fell out with coach Alex Ariza after the latter had left the training camp last month - a situation exposed on a documentary following the build-up to the fight.

But Roach insists there was no rift between the men, and that both would be present for the World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"The corner will be me, Miguel Diaz, and Buboy (Fernandez) and Alex Ariza," said Roach.

"It wasn't a rift. I just said I disagreed with his choice of leaving training camp ... I thought it was bad timing to leave a fighter two weeks without a replacement, like if you have an assistant or somebody like that.

"I thought it was a bad choice."

Pacquiao said last week that he expected the situation to be resolved, and Roach said that he asked the fighter who he wanted in his corner.

"He said let's let Alex work the corner and I'll sit Alex and Miguel down and we'll tell them what their jobs are and everyone's just going to do their job," Roach said, adding that while he'll be the only trainer instructing Pacquiao, he might still call on Ariza to relay his directions because Ariza can be heard better over the noise of the crowd.

"That won't change," Roach said.

Pacquiao's narrow majority decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in November raised doubts with some fight observers that the 33-year-old retains the same devastating speed and power of his prime.

Against the unbeaten Bradley, a 28-year-old who brings a record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts to the fight, Pacquiao said he wants to "get back the trust" of fans - especially as this is Bradley's chance to make a name for himself on the big stage.

"I know what Timothy is feeling right now," said Pacquiao

"That's why I train hard — because I know what he's feeling."