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‘Crooks in Glass Castles’: The Drama behind Michael Koncz’s alleged firing
Amidst reports, retractions and clarifications regarding the alleged firing, or non-firing (depending on who your trusted source is) of Manny Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz, the real question that nobody is asking out aloud yet, is perhaps the one question that truly matters most.
Is Manny Pacquiao capable of making it on his own? Or should he even bother?
Surely, any adroit boxing thinker that has followed this issue and the goings on behind the scenes, should be able to catch my drift.
For the lagging, allow me to elaborate.
Can Manny Pacquiao become his own boss the way Oscar Dela Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. did towards the latter part of their careers? And would it be better for his career financially since he wouldn’t have to split the pie with Top Rank and Bob Arum? And perhaps his legacy as well since he would have more freedom to pursue any fight and opponent that he wishes?
As of this writing, nobody from Top Rank, Team Pacquiao, nor any of the top boxing scribes in the business that I have reached out to could confirm with me how many years or fights Pacquiao still has left in his contract.
Pacquiao is not known to be a frugal person, and if it were up to him, the guy is definitely content with ‘just doing his job’ and allowing other people to worry about other matters regarding his career like money, promotions, endorsements etc. That’s why Pacquiao has become the proverbial light that has attracted a plethora of opportunistic fireflies which reflects in his incessantly growing entourage.
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In the past, companies like Fight Night video game publishers, EA Sports, have shied away from Pacquiao because of the numerous people and entities that claim to represent him. EA wanted Pacquiao to grace the cover of the most recent Fight Night game, but had to settle with a fictional character when they encountered difficulties in reaching out to the Pacquiao camp.
“He’s (Pacquiao) been good to me personally and good for the company. He would have been the ideal guy for the cover of our ‘Fight Night’ game. But because of all the layers of people out there representing him or claiming to represent him, I didn’t want to do it,” Sandy Sandoval, senior director of athlete relations for EA Sports was quoted by Sports Business Journal.
“The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing. I’m not subjecting my company to that,” he added.
For a second, that seemed like a thing of the past, when Pacquiao designated Top Rank to become the sole party that handles his endorsement deals.
But with the drama that surrounded Koncz’s alleged firing, one has to wonder what truly is going on behind the scenes. I have spoken to several people on each side of the fence, and as much as I would love to quote each one of them, nobody is willing to go on record, so I guess we’ll just all have to wait for this to play itself out.
“That would be the biggest mistake Pacquiao could make,” a veteran scribe told me when I asked him what he thought of Pacquiao venturing on his own outside the Top Rank umbrella. “Arum puts him in the best position to make the most money, and I don’t think anybody else can do a better job for him,” he continued.
But wouldn’t a fight with Mayweather be easier to make if Pacquiao were to negotiate for himself? And what about other big fights against fighters outside of Top Rank? With Arum, you can almost expect for Pacquiao to go through a list of Top Rank opponents until he retires. Are fights with Mike Jones, Brandon Rios or Timothy Bradley compelling enough?
But on his own, wouldn’t Pacquiao’s dealings just turn into complete anarchy? What about the major international endorsement deals?
It’s not quite proper to compare it to such events, but for some reason, childhood memories of activists rallying and protesting against the US Air base in Clark, Pampanga come to mind. Were they better off? Or did local corruption just take over? You tell me.
As it is, a microcosm of things can be seen in regards to Pacquiao’s web presence. You have one entity running Pacquiao’s Twitter account and ‘tweeting’ as if it were Pacquiao himself in first person and claims to be the Official account. Then you have @mannypacquiao, which is supposedly the “Official Manny Pacquiao Twitter account” that is ran by Top Rank. Then you have “The Official Manny Pacquiao website” mp8.ph that ran reports recently that created confusion when Pacquiao himself denied the said reports. And then you have MannyPacquiao.ph that publishes “Manny Pacquiao’s Official Column” called “Kumbinasyon” and where all of his fans truly congregate. Okay, I am officially confused.
VisionQwest coming into play to audit Pacquiao’s earnings in the previous years, isn’t a coincidence.
All I’m doing is asking questions. For all we know, Pacquiao will end his career with Arum and Koncz beside him, and everybody lives happily ever after. At the end of the day, Pacquiao has gotten to this point by making the decisions he has made for himself. As the Nike logo suggests: “Pac Man Knows”. Nobody can really question his success.
So with that said, I guess that’s enough of the cynicism (for now), and allow me to finish thinking out loud by quoting Pacquiao when he quoted Peter Parker: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
(Share your thoughts on the comments box below)
-DG- visit www.DSOURCEboxing.com
Filipino Sports Examiner Dennis ‘dSource’ Guillermo is a freelance sports writer and contributes to TV5’s Interaksyon.com, BoxingScene.com, The SunStar newspaper in the Philippines and SportsManila.net.
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