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Ariza: Maidana wants Pacquiao fight

Manny Pacquiao Marcos Rene Maidana Alex Ariza

By Allan Fox: One of the fights that Marcos Maidana is making a comeback for is a match against superstar Manny Pacquiao, according his conditioning trainer Alex Ariza, who says a fight between those two stars would be a huge one. Ariza acknowledges that the former two division world champion Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) still needs to earn the fight with Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) before he can get it.

Maidana, 35, hasn’t fought in five years since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2014. The Argentinian Maidana is working on returning to the ring in June at junior middleweight, possibly against 34-year-old Phil Lo Greco (28-4, 15 KOs). Maidana let his weight get out of control during his retirement from boxing, and he was well 200 lbs when he started training for his comeback a month ago.

Maidana has lost 25 pounds already, and Ariza is hoping he can down low enough for him to fight at a catch-weight of 152 or 153 lbs for his comeback fight in June. Maidana’s weight is at 190, and he’s still carrying around too much weight for him to fight, but he’s got a lot of time still before his fight in June.

“I think this is a great fight right now just because Manny is showing signs of reviving himself and getting back into it,” Ariza said to Fighthype about a fight between Maidana and Pacquiao. “I just think that would be a great fight. He’s got that style that throws a lot of punches. Manny is getting back into his groove again. I think everyone would like to see that one. You’ve got the Philippines and Argentina. If you want to see a big fight, that’s a big fight. That’s the fight he [Maidana] told me he wants. Yeah, the first time he called me when he came out here, he wants to fight Pacquiao. But you’ve got to earn that fight by wiping people out,” Ariza said.

Beating Lo Greco probably won’t be enough for Maidana to get a fight against Pacquiao. After all, Lo Greco was knocked out in the first round by Amir Khan in his last fight in April of last year. It’s not a crime for the comebacking Maidana to fight an inactive guy coming off of a year layoff and a first round knockout to Khan, but it’s also not a fight that will much for him in terms of drumming up excitement from the boxing public in seeing a fight between Maidana and Pacquiao. Maidana needs to put together a handful of victories in rapid fashion against decent level opposition before a fight between him and Pacquiao has a chance to happen. It’s a race against time for Maidana, however, because Pacquiao has a number of top welterweights that want to fight him, beginning with IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. If Pacquiao fights Spence, and suffers a knockout loss, he might elect to retire from boxing rather than stick around long enough to fight Maidana. It won’t be the end of the world for Maidana if he doesn’t get the fight against Pacquiao. He can always face Adrien Broner in a rematch, and possibly someone like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Spence or Shawn Porter. Those are all good fights for maidana. The Broner fight would attract a lot of interest for Maidana. He beat Broner six years ago in knocking him down twice in winning a 12 round decision in 2013. Ariza believes that Maidana “ruined” Broner with the punishment that he inflicted on him. Given how bad Broner had already looked before he lost to Maidana, it’s doubtful that he ruined him. It was just a case of Broner never being that good to begin with, and lacking the speed, power, reflexes or mobility to compete at the highest levels of the welterweight division. Broner was at his best when he was fighting at super featherweight. He was dominating in that weight class. Broner has never looked the same since moving to 140 and 147. Like a lot of fighters, Broner was good when he had a big weight advantage over his opponents.

“You saw what Maidana did to [Adrien] Broner. You saw what Manny did to Broner. Maidana ruined that guy. He ruined him. I don’t think Manny will have enough to stop him,” Ariza said about Pacquiao not having enough offensive ability to knockout Maidana. Manny couldn’t get Broner out of there. He’s shot. He’s got to get someone to train him to get him past those reservations that he had, Broner,” Ariza said.

Maidana did a better job of beating Broner than Pacquiao did. Of course, Maidana was in his late 20s when he fought Broner. Pacquiao fought him at 40-years-old. That might explain why Pacquiao didn’t bounce Broner around the ring the way the bigger, and stronger Maidana did. There different things in play in the two fights. By the time Pacquiao fought Broner, Adrien had been fighting at welterweight a long time. Maidana fought Broner when he’d only been in the division for a short period of time. Pacquiao fought a better version of Broner than Maidana did.

“I don’t think he’s shot. We haven’t seen him pushed yet,” Ariza said about Pacquiao. “Broner wasn’t going to leave his hands from his face. Look what happened? He got caught. So you have to be careful with Manny. He walked through Matthyse. I didn’t think he’d walk through him that easily. But he changed. He left Freddie [Roach] and went to Buboy.”

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