Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach was kicked in the chest by Brandon Rios’ conditioning coach Alex Ariza at the boxing gym of a Venetian hotel in Macau on Wednesday, November 20 following a heated argument over gym use and training schedules. Incidentally, Ariza is the former conditioning coach of Pacquiao and fired by Roach after the boxing champ’s last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
The heated confrontation began when Roach arrived a little past 11 am to find the Rios camp still training, even when they were only scheduled to use the gym from 9 to 11 am while Pacquaio’s camp reserved the gym for training from 11 am to 1 pm. Roach asked Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia to leave the gym but the latter refused, telling Roach that they had 30 minutes more because they had started late because of an interview with ESPN.
Angered with the delay, Roach insisted that it was time for Rios to leave the gym because his team only had until 11 am but Garcia also insisted that they weren’t leaving yet. Roach told Garcia that it wasn’t his fault that the team started late, telling him to “Get the f*** out of here!”, but the latter was unperturbed, merely telling Roach that it wasn’t his fault either.
Visibly angry now, Roach called Garcia a “piece of ***” to which the latter replied that they still wouldn’t be leaving and that Pacquiao’s coach shouldn’t call him a piece of ***. It was at this point that Ariza joined the heated confrontation, also using expletives to make Roach leave the gym instead, angering the latter who challenged, “Throw me out! Throw me out! Make me leave! Make me leave!” Afterwards, Ariza began to mock Roach’s stuttering speech due to Parkinson’s Disease.
When Roach began to step forward to focus on Ariza, the conditioning coach swiftly kicked the older guy in the chest, throwing Roach backwards and sending Ariza’s shoes flying from the intensity of the kick. At this point, Pacquiao’s conditioning coach Gavin McMillan pulled back Roach, accusing Ariza of assault. Ariza replied that it wasn’t assault because Roach started the fight first, telling McMillan to mind his own business. When McMillan simply shrugged off the tirade, saying “You’re such a joke!”, Ariza called him a fa**ot.
When Donald Leary, another staff from Rios’ camp joined in the scuffle, Roach called him a “Mexican motherf***er” which angered the guy who quickly moved to hit Roach, but was restrained by security officers.
The melee continued, with Garcia yelling at Roach that the attacks were personal and that the older guy didn’t run the place while Ariza continued to mock his Parkinson’s disease. To this, Roach told Ariza that Rios did a much better job at mocking his disease, in allusion to the boxer’s viral video against Roach.
McMillan led Roach out of the gym and told security officers that they wish to have Ariza arrested. Still irked, Roach mused that a “f***ing girl kicked me”.
After the melee, Ariza claimed that he only hit Roach out of self-defense because he saw the latter put up a fist but a video of the altercation showed no such thing.