Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios camps get into fight


Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao, in a quieter moment (Tyrone Siu / Reuters)

A brawl that included homophobic and racial slurs erupted Wednesday as the Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios camps sparred over gym time just days before the fighters’ big bout Saturday night.

The altercation was verbal, physical and nasty as Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer was kicked in the chest by Alex Ariza, Rios’s conditioning coach, during the melee in Macau.

Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook reported:

Team Rios was reportedly still using the gym that both fighters are working out in, they were a few minutes over (Lee Samuels of Top Rank says six or seven minutes), and Roach was demanding they get out. Rios was reportedly on the treadmill at the time, while Pacquiao had not yet arrived. The Rios team stood their ground, then things got physical, with (Alex) Ariza reportedly kicking Roach (according to Ariza himself).

Yahoo’s Kevin Iole is in Macau and wrote:

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach asked Rios trainer Robert Garcia to end Rios’ workout at 11 a.m. Macau time. Rios was scheduled to work out from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., but started late because he had done interviews. Garcia asked for a few minutes. Pacquiao was slated to work out from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Roach called Garcia “a piece of [expletive],” which prompted the escalation of the incident. Rios conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who was fired by Roach as Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, told Roach to “get the [expletive] out of the gym.” Roach responded by saying, “Make me get out.”

Ariza mocked Roach’s Parkinson’s disease several times. At one point, Ariza took a step forward and kicked Roach in the chest. As chaos broke out, Ariza said to Roach, “You’re a [expletive] joke,” and then used a gay slur.

Watch the whole dustup here, but be warned the video contains extended profanity.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · November 20, 2013