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List of Articles by Manny Piñol


 

Raider of Boxing Treasures

By Manny Piñol
PhilBoxing.com
21 Aug 2005

Michael Koncz was introduced to me by Manny Pacquiao shortly before my birthday December 16 last year when I hosted dinner for the world champion and his trainer, Freddie Roach, in Davao City.

Long-haired and in his 50s, he looks like a member of the cast of the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Pacquiao said he is a former lawyer from Canada who lost his license and who has now settled in California and frequented the Wild Card Gym owned by Roach.

Manny said Koncz was interested in getting Filipino boxers to bring to the US. But somebody whispered to me to be cautious with Koncz.

I next saw him when I staged a dinner-boxing event at the Royal Mandaya Hotel December 19 last year and that was when he first saw Diosdado Gabi and the other young boxers in my care see action.

He immediately expressed interest on Gabi and Glenn Gonzales, a young featherweight who happens to be my distant cousin and another young boxer, junior flyweight Dennis Juntillano who all performed very well that night.

What struck me aboutt Koncz was that in our next meeting in Gen. Santos City about two months later, he talked about boxing more in the realm of business and money. In that meeting he asked me point blank whether I was interested in selling my boxers and he specifically mentioned Gabi and Gonzales.

I was taken aback but I told him quite frankly that we do not look at our boxers as commodities to be sold or traded but as young boys with talents whom we are trying to guide towards success in their chosen sport.

Koncz hardly understands boxing as a sport, that I concluded after succeeding conversations. He was involved in boxing mainly for the money and this was confirmed to me later on by Manny Pacquiao.

My short involvement with Koncz ended when I discovered after the Pacquiao fight in Last Vegas early this year, that he really does not have enough connections in the American boxing scene that would enable him to work for the benefit of my boxers.

In fact, my involvement with him deprived us a shot at the IBF flyweight championship for Gabi. That fight against Vic Darcynian of Australia was offered to us but we turned it down because Koncz said he had the fight arranged in the US.

Next I heard of, Koncz had already linked up with Cebu-based boxing manager Tony Aldeguer and that he was already acting as the agent of Z Gorres and Rey Bautista in the US. Charmed by Koncz's looks and prmise of a good deal for his boxers, Aldeguer told me once that he was confident Koncz could deliver.

When Gabi left camp in North Cotabato April saying he wanted to quit boxing, I started hearing reports that Koncz had a hand in convincing the boxer to move over to Cebu and train in Aldeguer's gym while awaiting his trip to the US.

I sent Koncz a text message asking him not to touch Gabi and to value whatever friendship we had. No reply came. The last thing I heard, Koncz had succeeded in getting Gabi to sign a contract with him.

The guy who whispered I should be careful of Koncz the first time I met him was right.

But is the Raider of Boxing Treasurers really successful in his latest adventure? That remains to be seen. You know, sometimes the Raider in his haste falls and stumbles.

***

Next week: A wild and wacky night of boxing in South Cotabato.


Back to Manny Piñol's Articles Listing



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