The boxing world was buzzing on November 19th in light of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach using ethnic slurs to members of Brandon Rios’ team. Both sides had their fair share of jabs at each other but when tensions calmed, members of team Rios gave their thoughts on what transpired earlier that day.
Brandon Rios who was calm and just finishing his workout was surprisingly not part of the altercation that took place and was merely a spectator enjoying the show.
“Robert has my back. That’s teammates! That’s what we do,” said Rios.
Rios was then questioned by a reporter about the incident and if it would affect the fight with Pacquiao.
“It’s not going to affect me because I am not fighting Freddie Roach I am fighting Manny Pacquiao so it’s not going to affect me. It was just entertainment that we needed before the fight. I was waiting on him (Garcia) to swing.”
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza has had some bad blood with Roach in the past and the fact that he is with Rios now is causing Roach some problems. The fact that the bad blood between the two still remains did not help Roach with his anger. Ariza made sure that he stood up for his teammates as he did when he worked with fighters who were being trained by Roach in the past.
” I think Robert felt at the beginning that he was joking because who approaches somebody like that,” said Ariza. “He called Robert a piece of shit and then the thing started escalating to Freddie balling up his fist like he was going to hit Robert. Someone yelled this is our time and I said this isn’t Wild Card, we have to share. He (Roach) balled up his fist and came at me. He didn’t hit me I created space.”
Robert Garcia was surprisingly calm during the whole ordeal even towards the end when he told Roach that it was personal now. Garcia knows that the focus is on Roach and Pacquiao and that when media favors someone, the media can twist things around so he wanted to make sure the media knew what was going on.
“Everyone heard what happened,” said Garcia. “Everyone heard him call me a piece of shit and calling Donald a fucking Mexican, stupid Mexican and calling Elie (Seckbach) a fucking Jew. Everybody heard that.”
Garcia was then asked by a member of the media why Roach would stoop to such a low. An obvious question gets an obvious answer.
“Cuz he is racist, I don’t know. It’s actually sad.”
The subject of Manny Pacquiao came up whom is the star pupil trained by Roach and the possibility of Pacquiao being a racist was quickly shot down by Garcia.
“Nah. No, no. Manny is good people.”
Robert Garcia holds no grudges in wake of the events that transpired. It actually has boosted his confidence in himself as a trainer and believes Roach sees him as a threat.
“I am not pissed off at Freddie Roach. He is pissed off at me. I admire what he has accomplished. His last 20 years or 30 years of being a coach, everything he has done..he has done things that no any other trainer has ever done and he feels threatened by a 38 year old who opened his own gym just four years ago. That gives me a little motivation to say I am doing a good job.”