November 10, 2010
When it comes to Antonio Margarito's claim that he didn't know about the loaded hand wraps, who's buying the story? His new trainer Robert Garcia said he believes his fighter. His objectivity can be called into question and after Wednesday's prefight press conference, we're not sure we can believe anything Garcia says.
The Oxnard-based trainer, a former fighter himself, decided to address the brewing controversy caused by a YouTube video where it appears Margarito and his training partner Brandon Rios were mocking on the fact that Freddie Roach has Parkinson's disease (2:45 mark). Talking about Manny's Pacquiao trainer, they shook and froze up.
Wednesday afternoon, Garcia gave this explanation:
"We already talked about it and this has nothing to do with the disease Freddie Roach has," Garcia said. "I would never allow that in my gym. This is something personal between Team Pacquiao and Team Margarito."
Update: Fanhouse and Elie Seckbach, the source of the video, have pulled it from YouTube.
Update II: Deadspin has the video in its own player. Check it out.
Garcia then said his guys were unaware of the fact that Roach had the disease.
"When I told Brandon Rios this morning that [the video] was up and everybody was thinking that we were making fun of people with that disease ... he was surprised. He said 'what disease? I don't even know what disease you're talking about.' So it's nothing personal. It had nothing to do with his disease."
Roach has been around the business forever. He's been involved in countless huge promotions over the years. Is it believable that anyone in boxing could be unaware that he shakes and stutters because of the disease?
Just like Muhammad Ali, it's likely that Roach developed Parkinson's from his years in the ring. If anyone should be extra sensitive to his malady shouldn't it be other folks in the boxing world? Frankly, after seeing something like this video and Team Margarito constantly mocking on the hand-wrap allegations, could you blame anyone if they automatically characterized Margarito as someone who would cheat without a second of hesitation?