Pacquiao ready to forgive Rios for melee, says ‘let there be love in our hearts’

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Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao has set aside the tiff between his main trainer Freddie Roach and Brandon Rios’ coach Robert Garcia at the Venetian Hotel’s boxing gym in Macau, China, on Wednesday.

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Pacquiao, 34, who was not around when the incident happened, said he is focusing on the fight against Rios on Saturday and not on the malee that involved Roach, Garcia and Pacquiao’s former strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza.

“Let us always keep love in our hearts and avoid falling into a trap where hatred towards our fellowmen will take over our selves because God is love and hatred is of the enemy,” said Pacquiao via his personal social networking site Thursday morning.

Rios was riding a stationary bike at the time and didn’t get involved.

Roach and Garcia traded harsh words after a dispute in training schedule at the gym before Ariza came to the picture to mock Roach’s Parkinson’s disease and kick him in the midsection.

Pacquiao was not in a fighting mood and said he was ready to forgive Ariza.

“I feel bad but the lord said forgive as the lord forgives you,” he said.

Despite the incident, Pacquiao (54-5-2 win-loss-draw log with 38 knockouts) said he is doing everything to win the fight after losing twice last year. He lost against Timothy Bradley via split decision and a sixth round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

“I still have everything, the power and speed. It’s not yet over,” said Pacquiao.

Rios, 27, who has a 31-1-1 slate with 23 knockouts, told reporters that he will retire Pacquiao.

The Filipino said he is dedicating the fight “to my countrymen particularly to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda. I will give my best Saturday night,” Pacquiao said.

JOSEF T. RAMOS

 

 

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