The camp members of Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios got into a big altercation at a gym in Macau on Wednesday morning (local time) that involved racial and homophobic slurs as well as an assault. The fight may or may not have been staged to drum up publicity for the fight between the two men, which is taking place in Asia and has not received the type of buzz a Pacquiao fight used to generate.
The supposed fight between the two sides arose after Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, complained that Rios’ camp was still in the gym past their allotted time. Rios’ team was supposed to have the gym — located in the Venetian in Macau — from 9-11 a.m. Pacquiao was scheduled to have the gym at 11.
Supposedly upset over Rios still being in the gym, Roach approached Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, interrupted his interview and told him to get out. Roach supposedly called Garcia a piece of s— and told him to go f— himself. Alex Ariza, who is now Rios’ trainer and was previously Pac-Man’s trainer before he was let go because of friction with Roach, got involved and kicked Roach in the chest.
Ariza was seen on video mocking Roach’s Parkinson’s Disease and calling him a “stuttering prick.”
Roach supposedly called Rios assistant Donald Leary a f—ing Mexican, causing Leary to go crazy in response.
There is actually a history of bad blood between the two sides.
Three years ago, Rios was hanging out with Antonio Margarito and the two were caught on video mocking Roach’s Parkinson’s Disease (watch here). Then there is the whole story between Roach and Ariza. As mentioned previously, Ariza was fired by Pacquiao’s camp recently before being hired by Rios. There was a lot of tension between Roach and Ariza, and it’s believed Freddie is the one who wanted Ariza fired because he disagreed with the strength coach’s training methods.
Like I said in the beginning of this post, I have my doubts about the genuineness of this fight. The fight is taking place in another continent and Pac-Man just doesn’t have the buzz in America that he used to. Staging a fight at the weigh-in or another pre-fight event is one of the oldest tricks in the book to raising awareness of a match. It also was a little suspicious that Top Rank Boxing, which is promoting the fight, happened to have the best seats in the house and caught the whole thing on video and photos. Oh, and then they supplied the photos to Yahoo! and ESPN to use on their stories. Oh, and Top Rank Boxing posted the photos and video on their Facebook page to get fans hyped for the fight.
I could be totally wrong here, but I’m calling B.S. on this fight.
Below are two videos of the altercation — both contain lots of bad language. The first one was mostly recorded by our friend Radio Rahim:
This video was recorded by Elie Sechbach: