Sports

Manny Pacquiao’s Camp Can’t Get on the Same Page About Anything

| by Alex Groberman
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Manny Pacquiao has a lot of brilliant, savvy people working to make sure that he is successful. His fantastic career, while a testament to his own skills as a boxer, has also been the byproduct of the smart folks he has surrounded himself with. Unfortunately, the Filipino star also has some questionable talent working for him. We won’t name any names, but one of them rhymes with Fichael Joncz.

A couple of months ago, there was a mini debate within Pacquiao’s camp regarding how many times he should fight in 2013. According to multiple sources, everyone agreed that the Filipino champ should train hard and focus on just one foe: Juan Manuel Marquez. Everyone except for one person. Can you guess who the lone voice in Pacquiao’s camp pushing for two fights this year was?

This week, Michael Koncz did an interview with RingTV during which he reacted to HBO’s highly-publicized divorce from Golden Boy Promotions. (An inevitable occurrence given the way things have gone over the last 12 months, by the way, but we’ll delve into that later.) His comments were hilariously out of touch.  

"If HBO has a problem with Golden Boy and Showtime, that doesn't concern me. If Showtime has a problem with HBO and Top Rank, that doesn't concern me either. Manny and I have no problem with HBO, we have no problem with Showtime, and we have no problem with Televisa and Azteca, the two giant Mexican networks. We don't have a problem with anybody," said Koncz.

"Top Rank is our promoter and we respect that. However, the way Manny's contract is written with our promoter, MP Promotions is co-promoter and has equal say in venues, broadcast networks and various other issues. My obligation and my duty is to do what is in the best interest of Manny Pacquiao. In that regard, what can HBO, Showtime, Televisa or Azteca be willing to do for the benefit of Manny Pacquiao, one of the all-time greatest boxers. These discussions are ongoing."

The problem with that statement isn’t so much its substance – clearly Pacquiao will do what’s best for him. If it means fighting on HBO, he’ll do that. If it means fighting on Showtime, he’ll do that instead. Rather, the really stunning thing about what Koncz said is how unnecessary it was. Why throw yourself in between two warring companies right now, when tensions are at an all time high, when nobody is asking you to do so? What possible benefit is there for anyone involved?

Naturally, once Bob Arum got wind of what was said, he came out and quickly put Koncz in his place.

"Our contract with Manny Pacquiao is clear," said Arum. "We have a contract until the end of 2014, and it provides clearly that his decisions are ours and ours alone. Manny Pacquiao will fight on HBO and HBO Pay Per View from now until as long as our contract is in effect." 

If Koncz was currently in negotiations for more money or something, maybe his comments would have made some moderate amount of sense. However, that’s not the case. His camp is coming off a highly successful bout with HBO, and barring some unforeseen catastrophe, there is zero reason for them to jump ship at this point in time.

Whenever there’s any sort of split within Pacquiao’s camp, it’s always Koncz versus everyone else. There’s a reason for that.