By Rick Reeno
For the last few weeks, the tension has been building between the camps of Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios.
On Wednesday morning at a gym in Macau, Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach was involved in a confrontation with Rios' trainer Robert Garcia, and Rios' strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
According to Ariza, Rios and his camp members have the gym from 9-11am.
Roach came in the gym, according to Ariza, a few minutes before 11 and ordered Garcia and everyone on their team to clear out - which is when the drama broke out and things eventually became physical.
According to Ariza and several witnesses, Roach made several questionable remarks that he will likely regret.
Ariza worked with Roach and Pacquiao for several years, but he was let go a few months ago, and was then hired by Garcia to work with Rios, younger brother Mikey Garcia and several other boxers at his gym in Oxnard.
"[Top Rank] said 'listen Brandon, you have some interviews this morning and it's going to run into your gym time, but we'll get you some extra time.' We said no problem. We did ESPN, we did some other things. Freddie has the gym for six hours and we have it for only two throughout the day. Our time is from 9 to 11. We got there around 9:15 or whatever and Brandon starts training. It's almost 11 o'clock and Freddie comes peacocking through the gym and you could sense that he wanted things to kick off," Ariza told BoxingScene.com.
"Brandon just finished jump roping and he was loosening up on the treadmill. Freddie goes straight over to Robert. Now mind you Robert is on the other side of the gym and Freddie storms across the gym. Now Robert is just closing out an interview and Freddie tells him to 'this is our time, you need to get out.' Robert told him 'Brandon just has a few more minutes and then we'll go. Now keep in mind that Manny is nowhere even close to the gym, he hasn't even left to go there."
"Robert said 'we'll be done in three minutes' and Freddie said 'no, you need to get the f*** out now.' Robert kind of looked at him and looked at the interviewer [with an expression] like 'are you really doing this.' Robert said that he was not getting out, that we would get out in three minutes. Freddie then called him a piece of sh*t. And then things really kicked off. He called one guy a dirty Mexican. He called Elie Seckbach a f***ing Jew. He went f***ing crazy. He balled up his fists like he was going to punch Robert, when he called Robert a piece of sh*t and Robert said 'f*** you.'
"I told him 'this isn't Wild Card, you have to share the gym and be professional. Then he tried to attack me. He was like 'f*** you motherf***er.' Freddie came at me and I created some space. He balled up his fist and tried to hit me. It was no big deal. There was some pushing and shoving [between the camps]. Freddie just went berserk."
Pacquiao will face Rios this coming Saturday night in a twelve round welterweight battle, which is headlining an HBO Pay-Per-View event.