Floyd Mayweather will kick off his training for the May 2 super fight with Manny Pacquiao on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
The major players of training camp—Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger, renowned cutman-wraps specialist Rafael Garcia and conditioning coach Alex Ariza—have been told to report for active duty.
The start of training camp for Mayweather will be exactly two months before the 38-year-old Michigan-born fighter deals with Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
While the Mayweather clan will be well represented, focus will be on the participation of Ariza and the 85-year-old Garcia, a colorful character whose expertise brought him to work the corners of Roberto Duran and Alexis Arguello.
Garcia was part of Mayweather from 2000 until last year when he announced his retirement.
But Mayweather recalled Garcia so they can join hands anew for what has been labeled as the richest fight in history.
Another potential scene-stealer in camp will be Ariza, who worked as Pacquiao’s strength coach from 2008 until 2012.
During Ariza’s stint as Pacquiao’s fitness instructor and diet consultant, the 36-year-old Pacquiao scored some of his biggest wins, including the retirement of Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008, the second-round demolition of Ricky Hatton and the beatdown of Miguel Cotto, both in 2009.
But Ariza had a falling out with chief trainer Freddie Roach and key members of the team after Pacquiao’s dramatic knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, forcing the native Colombian to look for another job.
Ariza landed a job over at the camp of Brandon Rios, who was eventually outclassed by Pacquiao in 2013.
Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia then let go of Ariza, who wound up getting an offer to work with Mayweather.
Aside from Ariza, another Pacquiao guy who now works for Mayweather is Fil-Am James Dayap, who served as Pacquiao’s videographer for a few years. Dayap always travels in style with Mayweather.
Ariza is confident that Mayweather will stamp his class on May 2, stressing that “the guy that I trained five years ago, the guy that was walking through walls and that was literally breaking bones with shots and comatizing people with single shots, the opponent that we have now is a shell of that guy,” Ariza told fighthype.com, Mayweather’s favorite website.
Ariza added: “Not only do I have a fighter that’s more skilled than the opponent, but there’s no doubt that he’ll also be more physically prepared than the opponent as well.”