Smiles abound here, but 24/7 viewers can see the tension as Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza feud. (Chris Farina-Top Rank)
It looks like both the Pacquiao and Bradley training camps are humming along well, from the third installment of HBO's 24/7 series, but one wonders if the pockets of discord, like the Freddie Roach-Alex Ariza feud, will take away from Manny Pacquiao's focus heading in to his June 9 Las Vegas showdown with the unbeaten Tim Bradley.
To open, we see Marvin Samodio walk into the Wild Card. He stepped in for Alex Ariza when Ariza left the Philippines camp early last month, and Roach asked him to come to the US to work again with Manny. The strength and conditioning coach says he and Ariza are good friends, and that he is still learning that craft. Pacquiao has decided not to dump Ariza, as Roach recommended. Freddie says that his comments on the last 24/7, when he said he would maybe recommend to Manny that they dump Ariza, who he said had gotten too big for his britches, were heavy-duty. Ariza is free to process them with him the trainer said, but the spat won't distract Pacman, he maintains.
"Manny likes him and wants him on board so that's the way it is and that's the way we're going to leave it for now," Roach says. He has banished Ariza from the corner on fight night, though. Ariza refuses to speak to 24/7 about the issue.
We see Jinkee Pacquiao has come to LA with the kids. The little ones feed him cake and Jinkee says that Manny is "the best." She calls him her "king."
Meanwhile, Tim Bradley is tired of training. He wants fight night to arrive. He works out with S and G coach James Rougely in 100 degree heat. This is the third fight with the coach.
Bradley then heads out for eats with his wife Monica. He is a vegan during training, he says. He has a smoothie named after him at a local shop. He says he recovers faster than most athletes. He doesn't need much sleep, and says he lays awake thinking about the fight. This guy has that eye of the tiger, huh? Is it possible that he is fully focused on the goal, and Pacman will be distracted by his marriage re-building, and religious conversion-immersion and the Roach-Ariza spat? If he loses, we will indeed ponder that question...
Pacman is seen running. He says he is in top shape and mentally, because of his newfound religious commitment. Roach in the gym tells Manny to spin out when Bradley comes in head first. "He's going to be very slow," because of his muscles, the trainer says. Hatton, Cotto and Mosley were muscled as well, it is pointed out.
Then, Manny heads to the Jimmy Kimmel show. Kimmel notes Manny has a Kimmel win streak and worries what might happen if the show is cancelled. Kimmel says that Manny is a character and always has something new going on. He talks about his religious conversion, and draws a laugh when he shows a picture of Manny shooting a gun.
We see Joel Diaz, Bradley's trainer, at his ranch. We hear about his pro career. He says that he was hurt during a sparring session before his big title shot. He lost to Phillip Holiday, and then fought one more time. He lost vision in his right eye, didn't tell anyone, but was forced to quit when he fessed up to his wife. He drifted, hung out with a bad element, worked as a muscleman. He was close to killing or being killed. He regrouped after his mom pleaded with him to go back to the gym, to help his younger brothers. He met Bradley eight years ago. They've been together ever since.
Then, we see Roach practice throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. He says he'll be a bit nervous. He opened up the gym 17 years ago, and this will be the 26th bout working the corner of Pacman. He is grateful for the pairing. "Manny makes it all possible. Money obviously makes your life a little bit easier. Most of the money I've made comes from Manny Pacquiao," he says. This allows him to keep gym dues low, $5 a day. He says that he is not religious, that he just tries to be a good person. "Heaven and hell, I don't believe in it," says the 52 year old trainer.
He notes that his tremors are getting a bit worse. He says when he can't do the mitts effectively, he will quit. His mom he says will tell him the truth. She told him just last week that he was getting fat. He says he's lucky he has his gym and would be a bit lost without it.
Freddie throws out the first pitch. It is a low strike.
Back in Indio, Tim Bradley Sr aka Big Ray, goes to a local high school, where he is the head disciplinarian. He patrols on a mountain bike. He then heads to the gym. The son says he trains like "no other. The fight is won in the gym." Timothy says his dad has always been there for his fights. His dad, he says, cried when he heard the kid got the Pacquiao fight. "Tears of joy," Big Ray said.
To sum up, we hear from Liev Schreiber that fighters excel because they have extra intensity than mere mortals. The fight is one week away.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?