LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, called controversial strength and conditioning guru Angel Hernandez “a rat” and “a piece of s__t,” in response to Hernandez saying that he is planning to consult his lawyers about suing Roach over comments he believes implied Juan Manuel Marquez has taken performance-enhancing drugs in advance of Saturday night’s fourth meeting with Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In reaction, Hernandez told RingTV.com that he intends to speak to his attorneys about suing Roach.
“Today [Wednesday,] we’re going to meet up with my lawyers, and we’re probably going to file a lawsuit against Roach,” said Hernandez, following a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “Not the team, not Pacquiao, but Roach — and that’s a fact.”
On Thursday, Roach denied accusing Marquez of any wrongdoing, after initially pretending not to know Hernandez’s identity when asked about the development.
“Who is that? Who? You mean, the rat? I have nothing to say about that guy. He’s a piece of s__t,” said Roach.
“You ask the [USA Today] writer what I said. It’s different from what they printed [because editors changed it]. So they have no case. So if they think they’re going to sue me, good luck. Get in line. That’s all I’ve got to say.”
Marquez sparked controversy and came under scrutiny for hiring controversial Hernandez for his last fight against Pacquiao, since Hernandez had a history of being involved in performance-enhancing activities.
A graduate of Texas A&M’s exercise science program, Hernandez was known as Angel Heredia in May of 2008 when he testified in a San Francisco Court that he supplied former track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery with illegal substances.
Hernandez never was convicted of any crimes, although he admitted to giving the blood-booster EPO, growth hormone and insulin to Jones in 2000 at the request of her then-coach Trevor Graham, who was on trial. Heredia also sold banned substances to Montgomery.
Hernandez was hired by Marquez in order to achieve better results than he did in his welterweight debut, a one-sided unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September of 2009, and has insisted that his state-of-the-art techniques helped Marquez to gain strength and weight for Pacquiao.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com