Michael Koncz, advisor to Manny Pacquiao, should be used to all of this by now. If the Internet had its way, he would have been fired years ago.
The long-time trusted advisor to arguably boxing’s biggest and brightest star was the subject of yet another mean-spirited and baseless rumor this past week when it was alleged that Pacquiao finally parted ways with his much-maligned associate.
As these things have tendency of doing in the new media age, the rumor spread like digital wildfire -- only to be calmed down at the end of the news cycle by outlets like BoxingScene.com, which actually tried to verify the information.
"I think these reports continue to come out when I'm not with Manny. In my conversation with him, I asked 'do I have a job?' '[And he said] why do you ask me that?' [And I said] because 'it's all over the Internet that I was fired.' And he said 'it's not true.' Then we joked around a little bit and I told him that 'when I'm away from you for an extended period of time, these things happen,'" Koncz told BoxingScene.com, after they contacted him in an effort to determine the legitimacy of the rumors.
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This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to Koncz and, on a bigger scale, not the first time an untrue rumor relating to Pacquiao has taken hold of the headlines en route to dominating the boxing talking points.
So, why does this repeatedly keep happening?
The answer is simple.
For better or worse, Pacquiao -- until Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps up to change things, at least -- is the most important and influential figure in the sport. His name moves mountains (and an entire nation), envokes images of complete and total destruction, and has the innate ability to render men once considered the most powerful figures in boxing completely and totally powerless. His impact is undeniably huge, and even a false rumor like this, garners interest.
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And while this is undeniably great for Pacquiao, the ever-sleazy Bob Arum and Top Rank, it speaks to a huge problem for boxing that isn’t going away any time soon. You can only ride one big name, one polarizing star for so long.
Meanwhile, Koncz has his own theories on why rumors like this keep popping up, and he didn’t bother holding back in that same conversation with BoxingScene.com. Needless to say, his theory a tad more narcissistic and self-involved than the aforementioned “boxing has nothing besides Manny to talk about” idea.
"It's very simple, people try to put wedge between Manny and I, because I think they resent that Manny trusts someone not of his nationality as much as he trusts me, and secondly they know that I watch very tightly everything around Manny, although Manny knows most of everything, to make sure that people don't take undue advantage of him. I think a lot of people resent that. It's harder for people now to take advantage of Manny for their own benefit and I think a lot of people resent that. And Manny has to get a lot of credit for that as well, because with age he's become so much wiser. He's always been an intelligent person. And I think people, that's the biggest misconception they have of Manny, they underestimate his intelligence."
Yeah, right. That’s what it is.