Several stories from the Philippines emerged today claiming that reliable sources within WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s camp have learned that the fighters’ Canadian adviser Michael Koncz has been fired.
It should perhaps be noted that at time of writing neither Pacquiao, his official website nor Top Rank have confirmed the firing, although it is said to have come from reliable sources.
Why specifically Koncz would be let go remains a mystery, and some have speculated that the final straw could have been a recent interview in which he contradicted Bob Arum’s take on Olympic style drug testing.
If the firing is true however, Koncz’s departure will likely mark a big change for MP Promotions, as well as possibly creating a power vacuum within Pacquiao’s camp, which is full of individuals who will be eager to take his place.
Despite having been with Pacquiao for several years though, few within the camp will likely be sad to see the former lawyer go.
The main reason being that one time or another, Koncz has had issue with just about every major figure in Pacquiao’s sizable entourage.
Koncz has at various points in time called for Freddie Roach to be dismissed as Pacquiao’s coach, claiming that the fighter can more or less train himself and that Roach is too expensive.
In a 2009 interview with Michael Marley, Koncz said of Roach, who was the first to introduce him to Pacquiao:
“I told Manny to dump Freddie, I really did, It’s an unnecessary expense at this juncture of Manny’s career. He doesn’t need Freddie. Freddie needs Manny.
“I told Manny that he trains himself anyway so why pay Freddie so much money. I am always looking for ways to save Manny money and that expense is unjustified.”
Koncz has also had his share of conflicts with strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who once punched him several times after Koncz attempted to replace him in Pacquiao’s corner.
That wasn’t even the only punch he took either, with Filipino actor Phillip Salvador also clocking him on one occasion, allegedly due to Koncz turning him down when he asked Pacquiao for a loan.
There have also been numerous fighters, members of the press and fans who have criticized Koncz handling of MP promotions, which handles the careers of all the Filipino fighters seen on Pacquiao’s undercards.
During his tenure numerous Filipino prospects have been thrown in against vastly superior opponents they had little chance of winning against. He has also been accused of stealing fighters in several instances and even shorting his own fighters pay.
So unpopular was Koncz that one fan even went as far as starting an online petition urging Top Rank to call for his dismissal.
There are even those who believe that Koncz was somehow covertly installed into Pacquiao’s inner circle by Top Rank in order to keep an eye on him, probably mostly due to the fact that his background prior to working for Pacquiao is still fairly unfamiliar to most.
Regardless of how unpopular he was though Koncz evidently had his uses within Pacquiao’s camp, and to an extent was forced to come into conflict with some of those around him due to the nature of his role within the team.
And whoever steps into his shoes may ultimately become as unpopular as Koncz did when forced to look out for Pacquiao’s best interests.
Eddie Nash, Pitt: “I’m amazed if Koncz did get fired, after all the problems he had with everyone he suddenly gets fired from nowhere?”
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