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    No cramps, no Ariza for Manny, says cutman
    By Joaquin Henson Updated Monday November 25, 2013 - 12:00am
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    Miguel Diaz

    MACAU - Argentinian legendary cutman Miguel Diaz said yesterday Manny Pacquiao experienced no cramps or back pain in mauling Brandon Rios at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Resort Hotel here, implying the departure of former conditioning coach Alex Ariza had a lot to do with it.

    Ariza was fired by Freddie Roach last August and moved over to Rios' camp. He wore a Team Rios jacket for the fight. A few days ago, Ariza was involved in an altercation with Roach and kicked him in a violent, if not cowardly, attack. Roach is afflicted with pugilistic Parkinson's dementia and in no condition to engage in physical combat. Worse, Ariza ridiculed Roach by mimicking his stutter and Parkinson's tremors in a classless display of lack of decency.

    "Manny was the best I've seen in a while, moving and killing Rios with his speed," said Diaz. "He had no problems in training. He still had his legs in the end. Manny worked hard for this fight and was in great condition. I'm proud of him and what he does for his country."

    Diaz, 75, said he knew the knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez wouldn't be a factor. "It's not like Manny took a beating and got knocked out," said Diaz. "He was winning the fight when Marquez got lucky. That's how it is in boxing sometimes. You walk into a punch. Something like that, you learn from and you move forward. It's not the beating that Billy Dib got from (Evgeny) Gradovich. That kind of beating is hard to recover from. One punch didn't do the job but a series of punches. It make a big difference."

    Diaz said Rios was bloated in the fight, an indication of lack of discipline in training. "I saw him gulp down two bottles of what looked like water right after the weigh-in," he said. "He was dehydrated. I predicted he would come in at 160 to 164 after weighing in at 146 1/2. I heard he put on 17 pounds for the fight so he was close to 164. The weight made him slow and an easy target for Manny."

    It was the heaviest that Rios has scaled for a fight. In his two previous bouts, he weighed in at 140. The Pacquiao bout was his first as a welterweight. Despite moving up to a higher division, Rios had difficulty making the 147-pound limit. After losing to Pacquiao, he said he would remain a welterweight or consider jumping to superwelterweight.

    Roach's conditioning consultant Gavin McMillan said his focus in preparing Pacquiao was to bring out his athleticism. "Manny's a phenomenal athlete," he said. "If you're his conditioning coach, you'll want to build on his athleticism, his explosiveness, so you don't make him do long-distance running. You do short sprints and exercises that give him an edge physically. I think our program worked because Manny had no issues of physical pain throughout his training camp and during the fight."

    Diaz said if Pacquiao faced either Timothy Bradley or Marquez instead of Rios yesterday morning, the outcome would've been the same. "No problem," said Diaz. "The way Manny fought, he would've taken care of any of them. Now, if you're talking (Floyd) Mayweather, that's a different story. Mayweather's tough. Manny will need to do a lot more to beat a guy like that."

    Pacquiao's wife Jinkee said she was nervous at the start, not knowing what to expect from Rios. But as the fight wore on and Pacquiao grew more and more confident, she knew victory was imminent. She mentioned that Rios fought like Joshua Clottey, covering up to avoid getting struck by lightning.

    Pacquiao thanked the Lord for the power and strength to win. When he approached Israeli pastor Amir Tsafati, the fighter said, "shalom." Pacquiao said God looks after those who are pure of heart and intentions. He forgave the Rios camp for trash-talking and bad-mouthing, saying "we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord."

    It was a triumphant day for Filipino fighters as Pacquiao was joined by superfeatherweight Harmonito de la Torre and Dan Nazareno Jr. in triumph. De la Torre halted Jason Butar-Butar of Indonesia at 1:23 of the third round while Nazareno blasted Liverpool's Liam Vaughan into submission at 0:59 of the second in the undercard. Several other Filipinos participated in the sold-out event like referee Danrex Tapdasan, judge Salven Lagumbay, Games and Amusements Board boxing chief Dr. Nasser Cruz who joined Filipino trainer Aljoe Jaro in bantamweight fighter Rex Tso's camp, ring physician Dr. Redentor Viernes, Roach's training assistant Marvin Somodio and Gerry, Dodie Boy and Jonathan Peñalosa who were in Nazareno's corner.

     

     

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