MACAU - Robert Garcia believes the behavior of Alex Ariza during the scuffle with Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach was uncalled for - the reason, Garcia said, he has asked the controversial strength and conditioning coach to issue a public apology.
“Definitely, his reaction was wrong… and we talked about it,” Garcia, the trainer of Brandon Rios who Pacquiao fights on Sunday, told Spin.ph. “He knows he shouldn’t have done it … but I feel that he was forced to do it (because of what was initiated).”
Ariza, Pacquiao's former conditioning coach who jumped to Rios' camp after he was fired, kicked Roach on the chest and mocked his slurred speech owing to Parkinson's Disease when the two groups got into an argument over overlapping training times at The Venetian hotel.
Here's a video of full interview with Garcia:
In a video released by American multi-media reporter Ellie Seckbach, Ariza issued an apology but also tried to defend his reaction.
“I take responsibility for what I did, there’s nothing I could say … it was a heat of the moment. I said what I said … I can’t take it back,” Ariza said.
“I apologize for it if I offended some people, if I hurt them … that’s the last thing I wanted to do…” he added.
But Ariza made it clear the apology wasn't meant for Roach.
“My aggression, my anger was obviously geared towards Freddie and the way he approached Robert. This is my team now and I am being in defense of them,” said Ariza.
“I regret the way I behaved, because I am an educated person and that is not how I should behave. But it happened. I can’t take it back,” he said, adding his reaction was triggered by Roach’s verbal assault on Garcia.
Garcia, meanwhile, declared that he will not issue an apology to Roach, insisting that "everybody knows what happened and how it started."
“Has anybody told Freddie to apologize, he offended me. The videos clearly say what he did and what he knows exactly what he did,” stressed Garcia.
“At least me, I am responsible for my team and I had Alex in front of the camera and take back what he said.”