By Miguel Rivera
Top Rank's Bob Arum believes Wednesday's ugly gym conflict between Team Pacquiao and Team Rios was a direct result of the grudge between veteran trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
Roach and Ariza worked together for six years, side by side in the corner of superstar Manny Pacquiuao. A few months ago, Roach fired Ariza from Pacquiao's corner. Ariza was later hired by Robert Garcia, the trainer of Brandon Rios.
This Saturday in Macau, Pacquiao and Rios will collide in a twelve round welterweight fight.
On Wednesday morning at a gym that both camps share in Macau, Roach and Garcia were involved in a verbal dipute over the gym time for their respective fighters.
After some heated words were exchanged, Ariza and Roach began traded words, which led to Roach moving in the direction of Ariza, who threw a kick to push the trainer back. AT that point, both sides began slinging an assortment of explicit insults.
"Who knows what the hell happens in Macau if you press charges. Everybody could get arrested. We don’t know anything about the legal system. That kind of publicity is not good for the sport,” Arum said to Universal Deportes. “It was nothing to do with the fighters. It had all to do with a grudge that Ariza has with Freddie, who fired him from Pacquiao’s corner.
“Garcia and Rios are good friends of mine and they listened to reason, and I’ve told them to tone everything down and they will. But Ariza sometimes gets out of control, and that’s really the problem. And usually when these types of fights occur, it’s usually someone who is tangential to the main guys who starts it.”