By Lem Satterfield
The verbal war between the camps of Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margairto has become vicious. Week by week, the two sides have turned up the tempo with their insults and allegations, but on Tuesday a video appeared on Fanhouse which many believe crossed the line. The video showed Margarito and his stablemate, unbeaten lightweight Brandon Rios, poking fun at Roach, who is battling Parkinson's disease.
During the two-minute mark of the video, Margarito moans, "Oh, Freddie Roach," extends his arms out slightly in front of him, appears to briefly shake his hands and then tilt his head slightly to the left. Then the camera then heads to Rios, who also tilts his head slightly, appears to be acting as if he is having difficulty speaking and contorts his face. "Hey," says Margarito and Rios' trainer, Robert Garcia, "that's Freddie Roach right there," as he points at Rios.
Roach was so angered by the video that he barely slept on Tuesday night and was ready to hit to the streets for some justice against Margarito and Rios.
"I got a lot of calls, and there were a lot of people that said that there was a video out there making fun of me," said Roach. "Well, I don't have a computer with me, so my assistant brought it over to me. I had trouble sleeping last night. I wanted to fight these guys. I know I'm too old and I can't beat them up. I hate these guys."
"If they made fun of me, it shows what kind of guys that they are. But I'm not going to bring it up because I don't want to bother Manny with it. So, you know, I don't want Manny to get mad or anything like that or to fight stupid. I can't do anything about what they did, but if they made fun of me, then, you know what? It's OK. They'll pay for it. I'm not worried."
Garcia addressed the video at the final press conference in Arlington, Texas, and claimed his two fighters were mocking Roach, but not making fun of his disease. Garcia says his fighters, especially Rios, were unaware that Roach had Parkinson's disease.
"Two of my fighters were joking around, making fun of Freddie Roach. We already talked about it. This was nothing to do with the disease that Freddie Roach has. We know that it's something that we don't wish on anybody," said Garcia. "I would never allow that type of behavior in my gym. I would never allow that type of behavior in my gym. We just wanted everyone to know that this is something personal between Team Pacquiao and Team Margarito. I just want to make that clear."
Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Margarito, was livid after watching the video and confronted Garcia, Rios and Margarito.
"I didn't see the video until it was pointed out to me. It was sent as an e-mail, and we put it on and we watched it in the room, my wife and myself. And I immediately confronted Garcia, Rios and Margarito about it," said Arum.
"You may say that [Garcia] didn't make an apology, but I can't disagree. I couldn't even hear what he said, but it is what it is. I'm not a commissioner of football that can fine the f****ing guy. Maybe it wasn't an apology, but I can't fine him. The thing is, Margarito and Brandon Rios are not very good defensive fighters. They take a lot of punches. I just hope that this never happens to them. I hope that they don't live my life."
Roach said that he would never forget what Garcia, Margarito and Rios did, nor does he believe that they were not aware that he had Parkinson's disease.
"Do I believe that they didn't know that I had Parkinson's? Please. That's an excuse. It wasn't really an apology, it was just a cover-up. Robert Garcia is not a classy guy. He's not a good guy. He's a fake, and that's all that I have to say. Brandon Rios is a good young fighter, and I like him for that, and so forth, but as a person, he's an a**," Roach said.
Lem Satterfield is the boxing editor at AOL FanHouse and the news editor at BoxingScene.com. To read more from Lem Satterfield, go to AOL FanHouse by Clicking Here.