Peacemaker Manny Pacquiao keen to put ugly melee behind him

Hours after camps clash, boxer tries to calm tensions between them

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 12:39am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 10:15am

Philippines superstar Manny Pacquiao acted as the “peacemaker” saying Wednesday’s ugly melee involving his coach, Freddie Roach, and Brandon Rios’ coach, Robert Garcia, was nothing personal and should be put behind them.

The eight-time world champion was commenting on Wednesday evening after the morning session that exploded into a heated and ugly confrontation between members of the two camps after Garcia’s training with Rios overran by 10 minutes. Both Rios and Pacquiao were not involved in the angry exchanges.

“All I can say, every team is preparing for this fight. My team, we are preparing for this fight, and Rios’ team is preparing for this fight. Let everybody finish in this way … without any trash talking before the fight,” said Pacquiao, who will fight Rios in the Clash of Cotai on Sunday.

The Lord will forgive you. This is sport. It’s nothing personal. We are doing our job in the ring
Manny Pacquiao

“It’s not a good example to all the people who admire boxing. For me, what I can say is if anyone holds a grudge against someone else, the Lord will forgive you. This is sport. It’s nothing personal. We are doing our job in the ring. This is our job to perform and entertain,” said the 34-year-old Filipino at Wednesday night’s press conference.

Pacquiao said the fight for the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) welterweight title, was a must-see event, reiterating his will to win his first fight in three having lost to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in his previous two bouts.

“To all the people who are watching right now, especially the American people, don’t miss this fight because it’s going to be a good fight. Brandon [Rios] says he’s hungry to win and I am also hungry to win. I have lost twice in the past year.

“Anyway, I am doing my best to give it a good fight and to win the fight, especially after what happened to my countrymen in the Philippines with the typhoon. To all the people and their families who are affected by this typhoon, this fight is for you,” he said.