Ariza Responds To Allegation That He Slipped Energizer Into Mouth of Maidana

BY Michael Woods ON December 15, 2013
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ariza drugs d07abSerious fight fans have by now seen the video snippet making the rounds, which shows the strength and conditioning coach/cutman for Marcos Maidana, the notorious Alex Ariza, putting on Saturday night what looks like a napkin up to Maidana's mouth in between round 11 and 12 of his fight against Adrien Broner. The meme's purveyors have been implying, or outright alleging, that Ariza is slipping something into Maidana's mouth, and the spotlight is on the former Manny Pacquiao team-member. Did Ariza slip some sort of energy booster, or anything at all, to the Argentine who scored the upset of the year on Saturday night in San Antonio, and on Showtime?

I queued up the break in between rounds in which Ariza is seen with the "napkin," and studied the tape. It looks like he is holding two napkin-type objects in his left hand, which he places near Maidana's nose four times, and then uses to wipe Maidanas' left eye.

I then contacted Ariza, late Sunday, and asked him about this action. Did you, I asked, slip something into Maidana's mouth? And could you explain and clarify the circumstances people are talking about?

Ariza right off the bat chuckled. The "napkins," he explained, were pieces of gauze. "Maidana wanted to blow his nose," Ariza explained. So, that's what he did, he stated. And did he put anything in Maidanas' mouth? "No, of course not," he said. "People like to make drama. It was nothing. We shouldn't take away from the fighters' performance. He did all the work. We didn't do anything illegal."

And yes, I also asked about employment of a smelling salts sort of chemical. No, Ariza said, he didn't do anything of the sort. (I also noted, when watching the tape, that he used the same gauze to wipe the nose, and then the eye of Maidana, which I would think would lessen the likelihood that there was some sort of inhalant on the gauze, unless there's some inhalant one could use that wouldn't interfere with the tear duct.)

Maidana was tested in his locker room after the bout, Ariza said. USADA administered the test, which included a blood and urine sample, Ariza told me. And will he pass? "Yes, of course," Ariza said.

Ariza has had an interesting month; days before client Brandon Rios was due to glove up against Manny Pacquiao in Macau, Ariza got into a sparring match with former pal Freddie Roach in the gym where both principals worked out during fightweek. He front kicked Roach in the chest, because, he told me, Roach advanced toward him, and he said he's seen the trainer in such an antagonistic mode in past years, and he knew he needed to head off an attack.

"I was going to leave it alone," Ariza said of the "NapkinGate" meme, "because this isn't some Panama Lewis thing." But, he said, he was happy to explain the usage of the gauze pads.

I took the opportunity to check to see if he and Roach had come to better terms, and restored a level of civility between them. It doesn't seem so; Ariza said he'd deliver a karate kid special to Roach in the same manner if the same brouhaha erupted. "If he came at me again, yes," Ariza said.

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Comment on this article

Radam G says:

That video straight-up reveals that Ariza is up to no good. I wonder how he's going to get out this one? Dude is living foul.

Wow! Little white pills, the ones he made a batch of -- Ariza-side meth. Broner was like a wide-eyed deer not moving from on-coming punch lights. Hahaha! Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

Wow I hope this doesn't turn the decision around, Maidana had a great performance, and Broner fouled and cried to the ref like a bytch. Especially the shot after the bell

kidcanvas says:

ffs are u kidding me... nothing ... broner fans whining lol

vjoe says:

Basis of the allegation is this video?????? Not impressed.

Radam G says:

I don't think that Broner has a lot of fans with power to change JACK. But Ariza has gotten caught trying to be a conditioning-coach MACK. Da dude is an optical-illusions cheat. And now on is the heat.

His corner work was silly work. He shouldn't have been let in the corner. Before the bout started, the mentally screwed-up Broner was already a goner. Holla!

amayseng says:

AA damn lost his mind

Radam G says:

Wow! Ariza has apparently admitted to using unauthorized jive in the corner. Marcos Maidana may be stripped for the incompetence of a wannabe who makes up his own rules. NOT IN TEXAS! "Don't mess with Texas!"

Alex Ariza should move to Texas and become a referee. Hehehe! He's a terrible glorified water boy. Texas Commissioner Dick Cole's son ref Larry Cole needs a sidekick. Holla!

stormcentre says:

Before I respond properly can someone/anyone explain to me what would be a likely substance that these energy pills would contain?

Don't get me wrong, I have my own ideas, but I want to hear from others of what substance would be strong enough and quick acting enough; to deliver fast, recognizable results - whilst also avoiding detection?

AA's use of gauze, thumb and finger is very interesting.

As is Garcia's support of him and how it aligns with his other mottos, including those related to PEDs.

Radam G says:

Absolutely nothing that would work that quickly, Strom. A lot of trainer/ S & C coaches sneak wintergreen tablets into fighters mouths to quickly open breathing. That minor cheat is the norm.

Ariza is just slow and got caught. Eyes were on him because of Bam Bam coming up dirty in Macau. Holla!

stormcentre says:

Yes OK - just as I thought.

In my mind I believe AA wanted to show the world that he could make a positive change to Garcia’s team in a spectacular way that would not only rub salt into Freddie Roaches’ face – but also show he can be someone at a time when great doubt was placed at his feet; perhaps justifiably.

His use of gauze - completely unnecessary for the purpose he claimed/used – in Madaina’s corner is in my opinion as highly suspicious as the way his fingers appeared located over the gauze, as if to be positioning a pill that was intended to be clandestinely inserted into Marcos’ mouth.

It’s not good for all those that believed that Pacquaio was clean either – but that’s entirely another story.

And Rios? Hmmn.

I wondered whether he would handle the pressure of knowing what Pacquaio brings and still stay completely clean.

One thing is for sure, you can do better than have Dr. Margaret Goodman on your case; even if you are a clean strength and conditioning coach. Furthermore, her comeback response to Ariza’s claims were pretty tight in my opinion too.

All up, it’s not been a good month for AA.

stormcentre says:

It will be interesting to see whether Marcos, Brandon and Robert still keep AA on their team after this.

Spinach Chin says:

Don't know of any kind of pill that would have done the kid any good with 3 minutes left to go in the fight. Good drugs take 20 minutes to an hour to digest and take effect.

Radam G says:

Ammonia, wintergreen and onions have instant effect to alert you and opening up breathing, Spinach Chin. Trainers/S & C coaches on the cheat sneak this type of jive in the corner. There are tons of tricks of the trade. Ariza got Texas nailed. Dude is/was slow on the Texas quick draw. Holla!

Spinach Chin says:

Got it RG - ammonia on the gauze makes sense but the pill theory seems to be prevailing. Regardless Ariza looks like he's practicing to be David Copperfield's apprentice with the slight of hand. Bad news is AB has an excuse to not learn from a defeat.

Radam G says:

I suspect that ammonia was on the gauze and a wintergreen-mint tablet was sneaked into Maidana's mouth.

The Texas Boxing Commission was on the lookout for that minor cheat. With stupidity and arrogance, Alex Ariza walked right into a bytch trap.

Normally a corner is allowed to get away with that type of minor jive. It's a bytch's eye -- I mean bull's eye -- target on Ariza's back and forehead. Holla!

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