Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Alex Ariza are at odds, and apparently won't be working together for Chavez's next fight. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The Julio Cesar Chavez Jr drama surrounding his September 17 fight against Ronald Hearns in Mexico continues to build, as today, famed conditioning coach Alex Ariza told FightHype.com that he won't be going to Mexico to work in Chavez's camp.
Ariza, who is outspoken sometimes to a fault, was reportedly getting his things together to work with Chavez on the fairly short notice. Chavez, like Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, works with both Ariza and trainer Freddie Roach, and in the past, failed drug tests by Chavez had been blamed on poor conditioning -- by the WBC. The WBC then assured the public (who were waiting to hear their ideas, of course) that they'd get Chavez together with a good nutritionist. Ariza entered the picture with Roach the next year.
Ariza says that there's some internal issues with Chavez's camp, specifically a guy who's running a web site for Chavez, which have deterred Chavez from going to Los Angeles for training:
"Yeah, he's got a little fat guy that runs around with a little iPad trying to start his own web site like Manny Pacquiao's web site. His visa wasn't straight, so as soon as he heard Chavez was going, he goes, 'Oh, I can't film it. I can't put it on the web site. The web site is gong to make us millions.' Those f***ers don't get five hits a month. ... So anyway, the next thing you know, Chavez did a 180 on me and said, 'Oh, you know, I'm going to train here in Mexico, in Tijuana.' So I said, 'Well, good luck with that, and, you know, hopefully you change your mind. I'll be here in L.A.'"
There's plenty more to the interview, so do read the whole thing, because it further paints the picture that this fight shouldn't be happening. Chavez is fighting without the backing of Top Rank or Zanfer Promotions, and without the aid of Roach and now, apparently, Ariza. Roach is about to have his hands full training Manny Pacquiao for his November 12 fight, so he simply doesn't have the time to dedicate to Chavez right now. This was one of Arum's major concerns, and why he didn't want the September fight to happen. They've got a November 19 date for Chavez on HBO against Peter Manfredo Jr, and Chavez is risking this without the blessings of the people who have built his career and manufactured his record.
Like I said before, I think this is a fight that begs for Chavez to lose. He's a cash cow whose only real upside is the money he can bring in, and he can bring in money -- there's no arguing that. But a loss to someone as low on the pecking order as Ronald Hearns could obliterate his future with HBO, who finally gave in to Chavez by televising him in June after years of avoiding featuring him. He's going against everyone's wishes and fighting without his training team fully behind him. Am I the only one who thinks the stars are aligning for hilarity?