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Rios cornerman, Pacquiao trainer involved in fight

MACAU — Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, was involved in an altercation with the entourage of opponent Brandon Rios on Wednesday, three days before their fight.

Roach approached Rios' trainer, Robert Garcia, in the gym the camps share in Macau (an autonomous region in China), saying they had gone past their scheduled training time and should leave. Video shows an argument before Roach was kicked in the upper body by Alex Ariza, a member of the Rios camp who formerly worked with Roach in Pacquiao's corner.

Roach, 53, wanted to press charges. But Bob Arum, the fight's promoter, talked him out of it for fear it could derail Saturday's bout for the vacant WBO welterweight title.

"Who knows what the hell happens in Macau if you press charges?" Arum said. "Everybody could get arrested. We don't know anything about the legal system."

Rios was unavailable for comment. Pacquiao indirectly addressed the issue.

"Let everything finish in the ring," Pacquiao said. "No trash talk before the fight because it's not a good example to all the people. If anyone has a grudge against someone, forgive them as God forgives. It's not personal. It's our job, entertaining people."

Ariza said his actions came in the "heat of the moment."

"He accosted me," he said. "I know Freddie Roach for six years, and I know he has a tendency to be aggressive. If he did it again, I'd do it again, too."

Ariza, who during the incident mocked Roach's slurred speech related to Parkinson's, said the Hall of Fame trainer was nearing the end of his career.

"There's one thing that anger brings out, the truth," Ariza said. "He hides behind that whole Parkinson's gig; not to demean Parkinson's. He feels very threatened. People gave me a lot of credit for Manny's rise. It's sad. It's transparent he's at the end of the road and this is his way of trying to hang on to what popularity he has."


Mexico, Uruguay get last Cup berths

Mexico and Uruguay completed playoff victories over New Zealand and Jordan, respectively, to earn the final berths of the 2014 World Cup. Ninety seconds from elimination last month, Mexico won 4-2 at New Zealand for a 9-3 aggregate win in the home-and-home playoff. Oribe Peralta had a first-half hat trick, giving him five goals in the playoff and 10 in qualifying. Meanwhile, host Uruguay tied Jordan 0-0 for a 5-0 aggregate win. Because Uruguay is among the top seven in the world rankings, it will be seeded for the World Cup. It, host Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland can't meet until the second round. The draw is Dec. 6.

Et cetera

Cycling: Lance Armstrong settled with an insurance company that sought about $3 million over bonuses paid for winning the Tour de France from 1999-2001. Terms weren't disclosed. Acceptance Insurance sued after Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs. A $12 million suit by a Dallas-based promotions company is in arbitration.

Golf: Wes Short had seven birdies to shoot 5-under 66 for a one-shot lead halfway through the Champions Tour's qualifying tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. The four-round event concludes Friday.

Horses: Royal Delta, who won the Breeders' Cup Distaff in 2011 and 2012 and was a double Eclipse Award champion, was retired. She won 12 of 22 starts and earned $4,811,126.

Times wires

Sports in Brief 11/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:37pm]
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