Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Pacquiao-Rios payback for Roach?
By Dan Rafael
When Manny Pacquiao picked Brandon Rios to fight for his comeback bout after the knockout loss he suffered against Juan Manuel Marquez in December, he did so with the blessing of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach said he liked the fight for Pacquiao -- who will fight Rios in a welterweight bout on Nov. 23 (HBO PPV) at the CotaiArena at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macau, China -- because he believes Rios' brawling style is made to order for Pacquiao.
But Roach said it wouldn't be honest if he didn't say that he also liked the match because he believes it's time for a little payback.
Flash back to November 2010, when Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) beat down Antonio Margarito in a one-sided decision at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to win a junior middleweight title, Pacquiao's record-setting title in an unprecedented eighth weight class.
A few days before the fight, Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs), who was on the undercard, and Margarito, who shared Robert Garcia as a trainer, were seen in an internet video cruelly mocking and laughing about Roach's Parkinson's disease symptoms, which sometimes include uncontrollable shaking.
First Margarito mocked Roach's tremors and sometimes-difficult-to-understand speech, and then Rios imitated him as well, all while Garcia stood by their side laughing.
Although they later apologized for the video, the incident understandably bothered Roach. Now Roach will go up against Rios and Garcia, and he hasn't forgotten about it.
"[Garcia] was trainer of the year [in 2012], and this year we will prove otherwise with this fight," Roach, a five-time trainer of the year, told ESPN.com on Monday, which is when the fight was agreed to.
As for having Pacquiao get a chance to knock out Rios, Roach said he was looking forward to it.
"They were trying to get under my skin [with the video], and they can do what they want. They can do all the shaking they want, but they are an embarrassment to themselves, and what they did bothered a lot of people around the world," Roach said. "[Rios'] coach [Garcia] was right there with him helping him with that video. So this fight is going to be great payback for me. I can't wait for this fight. It's the fight I wanted for Manny. We're going to teach them a lesson."