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ROACH ON BAD TASTE JOKESTERS: I Forgive Them, Let's Get To The Fight

BY Michael Woods ON November 10, 2010
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While Manny Pacquiao grins, and betrays not a hint of butterflies, trainer Freddie Roach is a tiny bit more on edge than usual, as hes been dealing with the brouhaha which erupted on Wednesday, when a video showing Team Margarito mocking his Parkinsons tremors made the rounds.

The trainer admitted the video hit him in the gut. I was a little angry. I wanted to fight them at first, of course Im a little too old, he said, chuckling. I was very upset at first, I had trouble sleeping, thinking what to do about it. I thought its best to take the high road, chalk it up to experience. They made a mistake, went too far...but I think they should apologize to world and not just me.

They went a little bit too far, tried to get under my skin but theyre attacking a group of people not just me has Parkinsons. They apologized, they made a mistake, I accept it, lets get to the fight. I will not let it get to me or my fighter, my fighter is smart and will stick to the game plan. They went a little bit too far, but we can all do that at times. I dont think they meant any harm in it. Margarito addressed the issue on Thursday morning. He said the video was heavily edited, and that he would never make fun of Freddie Roach or anyone with that disease, I know people, some in my family have that disease, so I would never make fun of them. A reporter came into the gym one day, and said that Roach said hed get kayoed by Pacquiao. I shook my hands and said, Oh, Im really scared now.

I want to apologize to everyone, Freddie Roach if he will accept my apologies, the fighter continued. To everyone with that disease, cause I want to tell you, never, ever in my life would I make fun of anyone like that...I just want to let you know that Im not the kind of person who would do anything like that, and make fun of anyone.

Were right where we want Manny to be, were a hundred percent, Roach said, moving on from the mocking incident, when asked if Manny is in tip top shape. Pacquiao ran for about 20 minutes this morning, and will do around four rounds on the mitts with Roach, and theyll walk through the gameplan.

But Roach said hes not expecting a tough fight. Hes not even close to Morales or Marquez or De la Hoya. You can beat him down the middle as Shane Mosley did, hes not too hard to figure out, he said. Well jump on him quick cause we know hes a slow starter. I do feel hell quit along the way, said Roach, predicting a stoppage win, and a shutout at that. I think he will quit.

Freddie being Freddie, that is, totally unafraid to talk the talk he was willing to back up as an active fighter, he threw a barb at Margarito. Do I think hes a cheater yes, he reiterated. I dont rate him as a great fighter, weve fought better, hes just bigger, and thats not going to help him. Youll see the best manny Pacquiao yet on Saturday night, I feel.

When asked what come next for Manny, especially if Mayweather doesnt accept the challenge, Roach said the team would consider 160 pounds. Paul Williams, the winner of that fight, is that too big for us? I thought this is too big for us at one point, 160 might be next, maybe we will go to nine world titles. But lets take care of Margarito first.

If Manny gets Money, Freddie said, hed like to see him win, and call it a day, the proverbial icing on the cake. And just like the fighter, he answered the same batch of questions hes been hearing day after day, hour after hour, patient as a saint.

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