MACAU – Manny Pacquiao admitted feeling bad when he heard the news about the scuffle involving trainer Freddie Roach and the camp of opponent Brandon Rios led by Robert Garcia and former strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
But just like Rios, the Filipino boxing superstar said he’s not at all bothered by the incident that comes four days before they clash in the ring in a 12-round welterweight bout at the Cotai Arena.
“It’s business as usual and outside the ring, always love one another,” said Pacquiao after wrapping up his training Wednesday afternoon at the makeshift gym inside the Venetian Hotel.
They Said It!
“I was thinking of sharing the word of God to them." - Manny Pacquiao on learning of a scuffle between members of his camp and opponent Brandon Rios
“I feel bad but the Lord said forgive as the Lord forgives you.”
Rios earlier said he’s not distracted by what happened, insisting he’s not fighting Roach but Pacquiao.
Pacquiao was not yet at the gym when the fight broke out after Roach confronted Garcia after Rios' time at the gym overlapped into the training time of the Filipino ring hero by about 10 minutes.
The Rios camp was scheduled to use the gym from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. but had to extend a few extra minutes after doing some interviews with mediamen and television networks.
Roach and Garcia then had a heated exchange of words before Ariza joined in the fray and started cussing his former boss at the Wild Card gym.
As Roach tried to approach him, Ariza kicked the five-time Trainer of the Year in the midsection as pandemonium broke loose.
Garcia’s assistant Donald Leary also jumped in during the scuffle and had to be pacified by security as he tried to go after Roach.
Pacquiao said he prayed upon hearing the news.
“I was thinking of sharing the word of God to them,” he said, while stressing that if “anyone has a grievance against someone, then forgive.”
Asked if he’s willing to forgive Ariza, who worked with him for more than five years, the boxing champion answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, if we have time to meet I can talk to him and share the word of God,” said Pacquiao.
And neither does the Pacman has any bad blood against his former conditioning coach.
“For me it’s hard to judge. We have no right to judge others. Leave that to God.”