ARLINGTON, Texas – Antonio Margarito has been labeled a pariah in boxing for his trainer’s attempt to place a plaster-like substance into his hand wraps before a fight with Shane Mosley last year. Lately he hasn’t done much to change the public’s opinion. On Tuesday a video surfaced on YouTube that features Margarito – along with stablemate Brandon Rios – mocking the involuntary tremors of Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. The video also shows Margarito’s trainer, Robert Garcia, laughing at the imitation.
At the final pre-fight press conference for Margarito’s fight with Pacquiao, which will be held on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium, Garcia attempted to apologize, saying no one was aware that Roach had Parkinson’s.
“I thought he [was shaking] because of the fights that he lost,” said Garcia. “I apologize for what my fighters did. I’ve always had so much respect for Freddie Roach. We’ve been to his gym to spar. He’s a professional. I admire the work he has done with Manny Pacquiao, with Amir Khan.”
Roach, who didn’t address the incident during the press conference, said later that he wouldn’t accept the apology.
“Like he doesn’t know I have Parkinson’s?” Roach said. “Please. It wasn’t an apology. It was a cover up.”
The video is just the latest gaffe by Margarito. During a recent episode of HBO’s 24/7, a member of Margarito’s team placed a large piece of concrete on Margarito’s hands while they were being wrapped. A laughing Margarito, who was suspended for one year by the California Athletic Commission after the Mosley fight, pretends to look away and not notice.
Margarito’s promoter, Bob Arum, had no issues with Margarito making fun of the incident.
“If I was Margarito I would do the same thing and make a joke of it,” Arum said. “You can’t believe what this kid has had to live through in the last 18 months. Absolute torture. He couldn’t fight. He couldn’t do anything. And then when the year was up and we fought him in Mexico, [the California Commission] used the fact that he sparred in California as part of the reason to keep his revocation in effect. I believe Margarito has been treated abominably. That’s my opinion, that’s my belief and I will go to my grave defending Margarito.”