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By Manny Piņol

18 Jul 2011

He came out of nowhere and, to quote boxing man Leonard Ellerbe, "knew nothing about boxing but crap" but Canadian Michael Koncz was able to squeeze himself and find his way into the inner sanctum of the Pacquiao palace and gained the confidence of the Filipino boxing icon, Manny Pacquiao.

For about five years now, Koncz has become the ubiquitous grey haired "gofer" for Manny Pacquiao and has been alternately introduced as business advisor and spokesman to the Pacman.

Koncz, in all of the time that he was with Manny Pacquiao, earned the ire of many of Pacquiao's friends and was even punched to the floor once by actor Philip Salvador.

Somehow, he survived all of those bitter infighting among Pacquiao's retinue of real friends, bootlickers and freeloaders. Not only that. He also gained the confidence of Top Rank bossman Bob Arum who used Koncz as his 24-hour bridge to Manny.

But I knew from the very start that Michael Koncz, judging from the number of Pacquiao's people who wanted his head, would sooner or later be axed.

It came very recently.

Very reliable sources from Cebu City said boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has finally dismissed Michael Koncz as his business advisor and manager of MP Promotions for a litany of missteps and blunders that has affected the boxing icon and his boxing promotional outfit.

Koncz was first introduced to me by Freddie Roach when Manny witnessed the launching of my boxing program in Davao City in February of 2005 and early on I knew, from the conversation I had with him, that he knew very little about boxing.

I don't know who it was who told me that he was a Canadian lawyer but I had my misgivings about that judging by his demeanor and even by the way he carried a conversation.

I also had my unpleasant moments with Michael Koncz starting from the day he offered to "buy" my boxers to the day he decided to "smuggle" out my boxer flyweight Diosdado Gabi to the US without my knowledge.

But I had gotten over that and considered that as part of the travails that a boxing man would go through in the business yard of boxing where the rule is "survival of the fittest."

Koncz became so trusted by Manny Pacquiao that he virtually was the bossman of MP Promotions which is Pacman's promotional company that works hand in hand with Top Rank.

He became so influential that at one point, he even tried to work for the ouster of Freddie Roach as Pacquiao's trainer, the very same person who introduced him to Manny. Koncz also effectively boxed out another Pacman confidant, businessman Wakee Salud of Cebu City and also worked against physical conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Manny apparently did not listen to Koncz' advises on these issues even as he showed appreciation for the Canadian advisor's services by helping him acquire a house in the US and lifting him out of financial troubles.

It was Koncz idea that all Filipino boxers who would see action in the undercard of Manny Pacquiao's fights would have to be signed up with MP Promotions and that Top Rank should not engage any Filipino boxer without the approval of MP Promotions.

This arrangement has effectively denied other upcoming Filipino boxers the opportunity of being featured in the undercard of Pacquiao which of course is considered as a short route to instant stardom.

And so for years now, Top Rank has featured only the likes of Dennis Laurente, Bai Elorde, Rodel Mayol, Richie Mepranum, Bernabe Concepcion and a few others whose gate pass to the Las Vegas center ring was the imprimatur of Michael Koncz.

So in spite of the huge influence of Manny Pacquiao in the boxing world, MP Promotions could do no better than produce a recycled world champion in Rodel Mayol and parade such so-so talents as Laurente and Mepranum.

A lot of wasted opportunities in giving other upcoming Filipinos the opportunity to shine beside the great champion from the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao.

Koncz also effectively put an end to the boxing career of Manny's younger brother, Bobby, when he placed him inside the ring in Las Vegas with a far superior fighter, Urbano Antillon, who whipped the younger Pacquiao silly and caused so much embarrassment to the Pacquiao family.

But I don't believe this is the reason why Koncz was sacked.

It could be deeper. Lately, Koncz has been making his own pronouncements and declarations apparently without the clearance of his boss, the Pacman, in relation to the dreamed fight with Floyd Mayweather.

But whatever the reasons are for the ouster of Koncz, I would bet that in the circle of Manny Pacquiao's coterie of supporters and hawi boys, only one person is saddened by the departure of the Canadian advisor.

That is no other than Michael Koncz himself.

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