"Brandon [Rios] always told us that his dad never left him. You know, this was Brandon telling us. They have beef and whatever it was. I'm not saying he was lying, but still, you know? But then another boxer from Garden City came to train with us in Oxnard, and his name was Herbert Acevedos, and he grew up with him [Ortiz] in the gym training together, and he told us, you know, when he heard all the stories that he just doesn't know why they're making these stories up when the dad never left them. He says that the dad was always with them...I think we could see Floyd-Arturo Gatti again. That's what I feel we're going to see...if Floyd gets into his had and lands a good right hand and laughs at him and tells him, 'There's more coming,' stuff like that, he will get to his head and Victor gives up. He did it many times in sparring. He did it against Amir Khan in the amateurs when they fought in the Junior Olympics; he quit against Amir Khan. He did it against Miguel Gonzalez in the Trials, where he just dropped his hands and let Miguel Gonzalez hit him with 30 punches non-stop. He did that against Maidana, so he's done it. He's very weak-minded. That I know for a fact," stated world-class trainer Robert Garcia, who co-signed Floyd Mayweather's recent comments about Victor Ortiz's backstory not being exactly what he's telling everyone. In this exposive interview, Garcia discusses his own history with Ortiz, including how he first brought him to Oxnard, helped him finish high school, and did his best to keep his boxing career alive when previous promoters and managers decided he wasn't worth it. He also explains how his brother, Danny Garcia, first came into the picture and paints a very different picture of the 24-year-old welterweight champion. Robert is looking forward to the opportunity to escorting Mayweather to the ring this Saturday, so you don't want to miss what else he had to say. Check it out!
BT: Robert, how you doing my man?
RG: Hey Ben, I'm doing good.
BT: I don't want to take up too much of your time, but Floyd told me I should do some homework on Victor Ortiz's backstory and his relationship with your brother, so I figured I'd reach out to you to get some insight.
RG: You know what? Of course I wasn't there; I didn't see it, I didn't live it, but Brandon [Rios] always told us that his dad never left him. You know, this was Brandon telling us. They have beef and whatever it was. I'm not saying he was lying, but still, you know? But then another boxer from Garden City came to train with us in Oxnard, and his name was Herbert Acevedos, and he grew up with him [Ortiz] in the gym training together, and he told us, you know, when he heard all the stories that he just doesn't know why they're making these stories up when the dad never left them. He says that the dad was always with them, that the dad does have a drinking problem, and that's about it, but he always took care of his boys. Every time they went out to tournaments, Victor always had $40, $50, whatever his dad could give them for food or spending; that he always had money. That's what Herbert Acevedos was telling us. And he said that the mom didn't leave them; she went with another guy or something, but the dad was always there. That's what it is.
And then when I brought him to Oxnard when he was 16, you know, I met him at the Junior Olympics and he told me the story about him having to go out in the street without no shoes, him and his brother, no shoes and stuff like that, so you know, I brought him over to Oxnard. But this guy Herbert says all the time that Victor was over here in Oxnard, his brother and them always lived with the dad; that he was always staying with the dad because that was their home. So you know, like Floyd said, he did his homework, so it's something that I guess people have to do, you know, go and find out. Herbert told us that, Brandon always said it, Brandon's dad said the same; there's another coach from Garden City that actually came to visit his son or daughter. His son or daughter graduated from the military place in San Diego, so he came to Oxnard to visit those guys and he told us the same thing. He says, "I don't know why all this lying is going on." But like I said, I haven't seen it, I didn't live it, I can't say it's true or not. I'm just saying what I've heard from Herbert and Brandon and Brandon's dad and this person from Garden City. That's the only thing that I hear. They all say the same thing.
They also mentioned a sister that Victor never even mentioned to me or anybody else, but they mentioned a sister that he has who is blind and they never mention her because she's blind. I don't know why, but you know, that was the thing. And then Herbert said there's a video where the dad wants to talk to somebody, but nobody pays attention to him because he does have a drinking problem, but what the dad is saying is why are my kids treating me so bad when I always gave them everything. They always had a home, you know. It's a trailer park, but they always had a place to live and food to eat. And he does mention the daughter. He says, "I don't know why you guys are embarrassed of your sister when you guys ate out of the money the government gave her for being blind." He says it in the video, he says, "The government always gave us money for her blindness and you guys ate out of her food she was providing for us because of the money that they gave her." So, you know, there's so much that he talks about, but like I said, I didn't see it.
When Victor came to Oxnard, I brought him over because him and his sister were being evicted from their apartment. The sister, Carmen, that's her name, she was going to move in with her boyfriend and Victor had no place to go, so I flew him out to Oxnard and had him living...first of all, he started living in my dad's house and my dad got his legal guardianship, put him in high school; we put him through school and, you know, he graduated from high school. Then when he turned pro, I'm not sure how many fights, but his last fight with me was when he fought Carlos Maussa on the Mosley-Cotto undercard and after that is when everything happened and he decided to part ways. If I'm not mistaken, that was Danny's first fight working the corner of Victor, in New York. It could've been one fight before that, but I'm not really sure. But I think that was the very first fight that Danny started working with him.
BT: Was it an issue of Victor just not liking the way you were training him, so he decided to bounce, or was there more to it than that.
RG: Aw, you know, there's definitely...he started saying, "I need to be making $200,000 a fight. Chavez Jr. is making that kind of money." We would tell him, "Hey, Chavez Jr. is the son of Julio Cesar Chavez and he sells a lot of tickets." He goes, "Well I don't give a fuck. I'm better than him. I should be making that kind of money." So when he started mentioning that, I knew there was somebody behind everything and somebody was talking to him and basically telling him, you know, we were not doing a good job and we were not promoting him or managing him or training him right. You know, the people that are with him now, which is [Rolando] Arellano, you know, could have been him. I don't know, that's just my thinking, but it's funny because when I first brought Victor to Oxnard, I got help from Shelly Finkel and Arellano to sponsor him and give him a salary every month. And then when he lost in the [Olympic] Trials and then he lost in the Mexican tournament, he tried to make the Mexican team, he didn't look good. In reality, he didn't look good. They dropped him. They actually said they couldn't give him that kind of money anymore; he wasn't worth it. They sent my dad a bill, over $17,000, of all the money they had already spent with Victor, so my dad paid that money back and that's when we went to Top Rank, Cameron Dunkin. You know, we had Top Rank give Victor $15,000 to pay off that money that Finkel had asked for, gave him a little salary, and that's when we started working for Top Rank. But you know, they dropped him and told us that he wasn't going anywhere.
You know, I could have said the same thing. I could have said, "You know what Victor? Sorry, but you gotta go back home." But we already had him in school, my dad already had his legal guardianship and took over, so if he wasn't in boxing, we were hoping he could be a member of the family because everybody fell in love with this kid. He is a nice kid and his stories were very believable, so we fell for it. Everything he always used to tell us about growing up and all that, hey, we couldn't let him go back and live that life, so we thought, hey, if it's not boxing, at least he's going to go to school. So my dad, you know, made sure he went to high school. He graduated and was doing pretty good, and eventually became a really good boxer because after the Maussa fight, it was on a Golden Boy card, Golden Boy with Top Rank, so I don't know, it must have caught their attention so that's why they have him now. It was on that fight; that was our last fight, so who knows what happened there that we didn't know, or who talked to him that we didn't know. I don't know. That, I don't know.
BT: Is that when your brother kind of stepped in and took over control or did a couple of fights go by before he tried to bring him in?
RG: Yeah, it was a couple fights before...see, this is what happened. My dad and myself, we had our team. You know, Victor, Brandon, Jose, my brother, my nephews, Brian Viloria, Steven Luevano, so we had a big team, okay? So my dad thought, you know, my brother wasn't in boxing anymore; he hadn't been in boxing for years, so my dad asked me, "If it was okay, let's start bringing Danny in." So we brought in my brother. We brought him to start working with the team. We told him, "You're going to get a piece of everybody. We're going to give you a small percentage of everybody, but we want you to pay attention and focus more on Victor." That we did; we did tell him that because Victor was the type of fighter who wanted the attention. He wanted to be the only one. He told me, "I don't want you to train nobody else, Robert, but me." I said, "Victor, I can't do that. I have other fighters." He was like, "No, but I want you to train me and not nobody else." So that's when we said, okay, he likes the attention so we're going to put Danny in to take over and basically just focus on Victor. Even though Victor was the only one Danny was pretty much focused on, we would still pay him from everybody else. You know, we would give him his small percentage from everybody else. I'm not saying it was an even split because other fighters were my fighters, so I was giving him a small percentage. Not half of what I was making, but I was paying him from everybody else. And then they became friends and that's how, you know, in the end, they ended up splitting.
BT: Wow. It sounds like Victor's pretty selfish when it comes to wanting attention.
RG: You know what? I'm not going to lie to you. Not too long ago, Ricky Lopez, who is Victor's friend and who was training with Victor about a year ago or so, he was under Victor's team, you know, management team, and I think Danny, my brother, was also training him. He called me not too long ago. He called me about a month or two ago and he asked me, "Robert, can you please help me?" I said, "Ricky, you train with Victor. You're managed by his people." He's like, "No I'm not. I'm not managed by anybody, Robert. Can you please help me?" I said, "I don't know if I can do that because, you know, you were over there." He says, "I called Victor and asked him, 'Victor, can I go back to training camp? Can you help me?'" He told him, "You know what Ricky? You are my friend, but I'm not going to help nobody out. It's all about my career and I don't want no distractions. I don't want to help nobody out. Right now, it's all about my career." This is what Ricky Lopez told me. I felt like helping him out, but I don't know, I felt like what if it's not true and he's just trying to get something from me about what he could hear, because I know they are good friends, but he's not there anymore and he did tell me that Victor didn't want to help him anymore. So he does seem like he wants to be the only one. He doesn't want anyone else to be better than him. He doesn't want to be in a gym where there's other world champions training; where there's other fighters that are really good and as good as him or even better than him, so he would've never been able to be in my team because I have Nonito [Donaire]. He would've hated that. He wanted to be the best one and Nonito is pound-for-pound #3 or #4 in the world, so he would've hated that. I know that. I know that for a fact. And, you know, he would've hated knowing that Margarito was in town and there were cameras all over him; he would've hated that.
BT: I haven't heard anything from Floyd yet, but do you know if you guys are going to be escorting him to the ring on Saturday night?
RG: You know what? I'm actually in the Bay Area with Nonito right now and I told him and he says it's okay, so I'm leaving the Bay Area this Friday to go to Oxnard. Brandon just called me and said, "Hey, I'm waiting for them to tell me, but if we go, we leave Saturday morning." So we're just going to be there for the fight because I also have a flight to catch on Sunday; Sunday out of LAX to go to Puerto Rico because we start the press tour with Margarito. So I do want to be there and Brandon has been calling me and says he really wants to be there too, so we do want to be there, but we'll come in Saturday and we have to leave like that same night after the fight. I definitely want to be there.
BT: At the press conference the other day, after Danny and Victor made their comments, Floyd didn't seem to mind putting that info out regarding Victor's backstory.
RG: You know what? Danny for sure is just enjoying the moment, the cameras, the spotlight; that's all he's doing. Danny's enjoying the spotlight and wants to make it controversial and wants to talk to Mayweather like he's the mean guy. You know, he doesn't even know what he's saying. The words that he said are words that somebody told him to say because he doesn't even know what they mean. It's true, man. I seen the press conference on the computer on the internet and if you go back, he said some words that don't mean what he's trying to say. He's saying it the wrong way, so it's obviously something they told him to say.
BT: Honestly, he kind of looked uncomfortable trying to get his point across.
RG: He was very uncomfortable.
BT: I assume you're obviously picking Floyd to win, but before I let you go, do you have an official prediction for the fight?
RG: I think we could see Floyd-Arturo Gatti again. That's what I feel we're going to see. Like I said, I know Victor, he does train hard. When he was with us, he was always the fastest in running. He was always the one training the extra round. He does train hard. He does train hard, but he does have that question of his heart and his mind. He is very weak-minded. You know, if you get into his head, if Floyd gets into his head and lands a good right hand and laughs at him and tells him, "There's more coming," stuff like that, he will get to his head and Victor gives up. He did it many times in sparring. He did it against Amir Khan in the amateurs when they fought in the Junior Olympics; he quit against Amir Khan. He did it against Miguel Gonzalez in the Trials, where he just dropped his hands and let Miguel Gonzalez hit him with 30 punches non-stop. He did that against Maidana, so he's done it. He's very weak-minded. That I know for a fact.
And you know what? My brother's running around on 24/7 going, "Oh, I love my brother. I don't know if he loves me." Well, he is my brother, you know? Come on, I love him too, but I don't have to go out to the public and tell them I don't know why my family doesn't talk to me. Well, it's obvious if mom, dad, sisters, brothers, they all stop talking to you, there must be a reason because it's not just me. If it was just me, people could say, "Well, maybe Robert got a little jealous because Victor left and now they're making this big fight." People could think that. You know, I'm doing the same with Margarito, with Donaire, Brandon is already getting up there with the big paydays, my brother Mike; I'm okay, I don't need Victor. But people could think that if it was just me. But if it's dad and mom and sisters and brothers, then they must have a reason, but I don't have to go out to the world and tell them my reasons. I want Danny to realize that we have a reason and we know why, and he knows why too. He's just, right now, he's in his moment and of course he's not going to say. He just wants to feel like he's the victim. You know, "I don't know why my brother doesn't talk to me or I don't know why my family didn't talk to me for years." Well, he does know why and there's good reason, but I think all those things, we have to solve them in our family. Like there's a saying in spanish, I don't know if it translates the same, but, you know, dirty laundry, you wash it at home. You don't go saying, "Oh, I don't know why they don't talk to me." Well, if everybody's not talking to you, it should just make common sense. If everybody is mad at you, there must be a good reason why. And there is good reason, man, I'm telling you. One day, I could definitely...I would love to tell the story to Floyd if, you know, we get time to talk after the fight or something. What happened after Victor left me, man, dude I'm telling you, this business, it's fucking ugly shit. What Victor caused to my family, to not only me, but my mom, my dad, my sisters, was fucking ugly, and for my brother to stick around with him and pretend like he didn't know nothing, that's bad.
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