Roach accepts Garcia’s apology over video
GRAPEVINE, Texas – Robert Garcia, Antonio Margarito’s trainer, said he didn’t sleep well on Wednesday night. He tossed and turned, he said, “all night.” On Thursday morning, after he called rival Freddie Roach and had a talk with him, a weight was lifted from his shoulders.
Garcia, Margarito and gym mate Brandon Rios appeared to mock Roach’s Parkinson’s disease in a video that appeared on fanhouse.com.
The three of them expressed regret at a news conference on Wednesday. However, Garcia, who said he felt horrible, went a step further and called Roach to make a direct apology to a colleague he has long admired.
“I talked to Freddie this morning on the phone,” he said before a news conference Thursday to promote the Margarito-Manny Pacquiao undercard. “I feel so much better.”
Roach had said on Wednesday, the day after he first saw the video and later had trouble sleeping himself, that he would never speak to the trio again but he believes Garcia was sincere and was willing to move on.
“He gave me what seemed like a very sincere apology,” Roach told Yahoo! Sports. “He told me I’d always opened my door to him, got him sparring partners and helped him along the way. I told him I accepted his apology and ‘Let’s just move on with the fight now.’ I would shake [Margarito’s] hand to end this. I think they realize what they did was maybe a little bit too much; they went overboard. I didn’t talk to [Garcia] about the video. He said I was throwing stuff at them and they wanted to throw back at me.
“He said, ‘You’re the greatest trainer in the world; I know that. If I beat you, I know you’ll still be the greatest. You’ve had way more champions than I have. You’ve always been good to me. You’ve always let me come to your gym,’ which is true. So I accepted his apology.”
Margarito showed up at the undercard news conference to make a public apology, although he still claims that his actions were misunderstood.
He said a reporter told him that Roach had said Pacquiao would knock him out Saturday at Cowboys Stadium. He reacted by shaking his hands and saying, “Oh, I’m so scared.” Still, he apologized profusely.
“I apologize to Freddie, to everyone with this disease,” he said. “I would never make fun of anyone like that.”
Rios, who faces Omri Lowther on the undercard, apologized on Wednesday and then again when he spoke at the news conference on Thursday.