Boxer apologises for mocking trainer

2010-11-12 08:27

Antonio Margarito apologised yesterday to legendary trainer Freddie Roach for an internet video that appears to show him mocking the Parkinson’s disease sufferer.

The video further damaged the Mexican boxer’s image and touched off a feud between Manny Pacquiao’s camp and Margarito and his trainer Robert Garcia.

“I know people are suffering with that disease so I would never make fun of them,” Margarito said yesterday at a Dallas-area hotel.

“I apologise for what happened. One day, I was training in the gym and this guy with a video camera came up to me and told me that Freddie Roach said I was going to get knocked out. I just shook my hands and said: ‘Wooh, I am really scared now.’

“So for Freddie Roach, if he will accept my apologies, and everyone with that disease because I want to tell you I would never, never make fun of anyone with that disease.”

Margarito, who will be fighting for the first time in the US since serving a one-year ban for using plaster in his gloves, will face Filipino superstar Pacquiao in a WBC super welterweight title fight Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.

The video, which was shot several weeks ago and appeared earlier this week on YouTube, shows Margarito’s camp making fun of Roach, who trains Pacquiao.

Margarito is seen shaking his hands and speaking with a tremor “I am Freddie Roach.” Boxer Brandon Rios, who is on the undercard, is also shown shaking his head and making fun of Roach in the video.

Garcia, is seen pointing at Rios and saying “that’s Freddie Roach right there”.

All three said they didn’t learn until Wednesday that Roach had the disease – a comment that Roach scoffed at.

Margarito explained the incident by saying he was faking being scared and not trying to imitate someone with Parkinsons. Canadian actor Michael J Fox also has Parkinsons – a degenerative disease of the part of the brain that controls movement and can cause uncontrollable shaking.

Roach, who said a day earlier that he would never talk to Garcia again, backed off on his statement yesterday and accepted the apology.

“I accept his apology and let’s just move on with the fight,” Roach said at the Gaylord Texan hotel. “I will shake his hand, yes. I think they realize what they did was too much, it went overboard a little bit.

“He didn’t talk to me about the video so much. He said I was throwing stuff at them and they wanted to throw something back and they went too far.

“So I accept his apology because I don’t want Manny to be angry about it. He must just stay calm. I want to keep Manny right where he is.

“He’s in a good place. Manny heard about it vaguely. I told Manny ’don’t worry about it. You just stay focused on what you have to do.’”

Speaking at yesterday’s undercard news conference, Rios said they want to put the incident behind them.
“I got one thing I want to get off my chest,” Rios said.

“There is something between the two camps. I take full responsibility. I am a man. They were calling our camp stuff like murderers. Let’s move on.”

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