As Manny Pacquaio and Brandon Rios prepare for their fight on Saturday night in Macau, trainers for the boxers were involved in an altercation on Wednesday.
Pacquaio's trainer, Freddie Roach, was upset that the Rios camp exceeded their allotted time at the training center and was shoved by a member of Rios' team, escalating tensions between the two camps.
Video showed that Roach asked Robert Garcia, Rios' trainer, to leave the gym area beneath The Venetian Theatre, where the fight will be held. Roach called Garcia "a piece of ----."
Garcia responded by saying, "Don't call me a piece of ----." When Alex Ariza, Rios' strength and conditioning coach who used to work Roach and Pacquiao, shouted at Roach to leave, Roach said "make me."
After a brief verbal exchange, Ariza kicked Roach in the stomach. A member of Rios' camp started shouting at Roach and Pacquiao's trainer used a racial slur that started a melee that required security to intervene.
"Our time is at 11 each day," Roach told ESPN. "I waited until five past 11 upstairs, and I came down, and Brandon was jumping rope. I waited until he had finished, and I went up to Robert Garcia and said, 'Our time is at 11.' Ariza started making fun of my Parkinson's, and I said, 'What's your problem?' and he kicked me and ran away."
Garcia said Rios stayed over his scheduled workout time, which is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day, to appear on ESPN's SportsCenter.
"So we say, OK, we're going to go 15, 20 minutes over time (at the gym)," Garcia told reporters. "(Roach) could have waited. His fighter wasn't even here. He could have been wrapping his hands. I don't care. He just wanted to start a fight. He's in trouble. He's nervous."
Neither fighter was involved. Rios continued to work out on an exercise machine during the tense situation. Pacquiao was not in the room.