By Raj Parmar: It looks as if pound for pound star Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KO’s) and strength & conditioning coach Alex Ariza have escalated their friendly relationship into a now professional one. Ariza has indicated that Mayweather has signed him to be his strength & conditioning coach for the next two years.
“I signed an official contract for two years to serve as Floyd’s strength and conditioning coach,” Ariza stated to the Manila Standard/Viva Sports per philboxing.com.
Ariza had trained Mayweather foe Marcos Maidana (35-5, 31 KO’s) the first time they clashed back in May of this year, however for the rematch that took place last weekend he was seen amongst Mayweather’s camp after Team Maidana released Ariza from his duties shortly after the first fight.
Many felt that Alex’s presence in the Mayweather camp was mainly a publicity stunt in order to generate hype for the fight. Floyd himself even stated that Ariza is not on his payroll and just came by to show support and watch him train. The two remained in communication throughout the week of the fight with Ariza providing dieting and stretching tips.
Mayweather now feels he needs more emphasis on his conditioning as he gets older (he will be turning 38 this coming February) and Ariza says Floyd told him that now is the time he needs someone like Alex. Even though Floyd has only two fights left on his contract with Showtime which will end next year, Ariza feels Floyd will be fighting longer than that, at least for the next two years.
This pact with Mayweather will represent the third major agreement in a row where the strength & conditioning coach has been a part of a major boxing training camp. Ariza famously worked with superstar Manny Pacquiao for a number of years before conflicting with Manny’s head trainer Freddie Roach. Ariza then went on to join trainer Robert Garcia’s camp and worked alongside fighters such Maidana, Brandon Rios and Mikey Garcia before being fired from there as well after seemingly conflicting with Garcia.
Mayweather at 37 years old still looked very good in the ring in both Maidana victories this year however many critics are saying he looks to have slowed down a bit. Time will soon tell if Ariza will be able to help Floyd do even better in his return to the ring next May.
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