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DIVIDE AND CONQUER: MEMBERS OF TEAM PACQUIAO SAY MICHAEL KONCZ IS MAKING A POWER PLAY

By Ben Thompson | January 25, 2011
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: MEMBERS OF TEAM PACQUIAO SAY MICHAEL KONCZ IS MAKING A POWER PLAY

On the heels of our insightful interview with Timothy James, FightHype.com was contacted by several members of Team Pacquiao, who were all eager to voice their opinion and firsthand experiences with Manny Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz. According to the multiple sources, who all chose to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs, Koncz has embarked on a mission to gain sole influence and control over the Filipino superstar. "He's kind of like an appendix in the human digestive tract. He sits there and does nothing and, you know, sometimes he'll cause you problems and actually he could kill you. So when an appendix explodes, I think they should take it out," one member would tell me bluntly.

While it's no secret that Koncz has had both verbal and physical altercations with some of the more well-known members of Pacquiao's training staff, including Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza, this is the first time that other members of Team Pacquiao, many of who handle endorsements and business deals for the 8-division world champion, have spoken out about the man who's seemingly become the mouthpiece for the pound-for-pound champion. Although many of the anonymous sources have had their own experiences dealing with Koncz, they all seem to be in agreement with the idea that he's acting on behalf of Manny Pacquiao without the knowledge of the Congressman of Sarangani. Read the numerous statements below from the members of Team Pacquiao and judge for yourself as to whether or not Koncz is acting in the best interest of Manny Pacquiao.

TEAM PACQUIAO MEMBER #1: "I met the rest of the team at the house. Everyone's got a bed, you know, it's all bunked up. Everyone sleeps in a room, Manny sleeps in the main room, and everyone just kinda like sleep nearby him. The first time I showed up in LA, Michael Koncz was like literally sleeping on the floor or on a couch in the room and nobody really seemed to want him to be around."

"From what I've seen when it comes to Michael Koncz, he takes his time with certain things. Other members of Team Pacquiao, they work hard to actually find endorsement deals for Manny in the U.S. I mean, I know Michael Koncz is somewhat connected in Las Vegas, but other than that, really, he doesn't know anybody and he wants to kinda like stand as the middle man between all the endorsement deals for Manny."

"A few of the people that brought endorsement deals to Manny, they found it maybe easier to talk to Michael Koncz because Michael is always around him. I'm talking million dollars deals going down the drain because Michael Koncz would either ruin it, not make the phone call on time, you know what I mean? I personally believe that Manny Pacquiao is very popular to this day. He makes anything dealing with the boxing world look good, but I personally think because of the way he's been handled, you know...it could be better. It could be better. I would actually point fingers at Michael Koncz for turning down quite a few of these endorsement deals and actually standing in the way of some people just because of a personal issue."

"Working with him can turn a deal that would be going as fast as a tiger into moving as slow as slugs. Speaking with the lawyer [Jeng Gacal], we can get sometihng signed by Manny and put together rather quickly because I mean, you know, dollars make sense and we can carry through something. But speaking with Michael Koncz, some things have taken years; literally, two years for certain deals to happen. It's kinda unfortunate."

"You know the San Manuel Casino commercial that is being played in California right now? That one took about two years to put together. That could've been easily done. That could've been finished quickly back in '08 or '09, but the commercial finally came out in 2011. That took a little time; a lot of time."

"Maybe that's just how he likes to ride. You know, like hey, let's start something and let's just kinda wait a little bit and then kinda forget about it and then, oh, we need money now so let's go do it. That concerns me that someone that thinks like that would be handling, or at least be having a hand in handling, the top boxer in the world's career."

TEAM PACQUIAO MEMBER #2: "He likes the spotlight. When he finally got his chance to be interviewed on 24/7, the HBO show (laughing), he grabbed every little piece of that."

"I do know that, for the most part, he claims he's paid by Manny on a lot of things, but when it comes to like...when he gets a chance to handle one of the endorsement deals and like there's a percentage involved, or something like that, paying out the person who handled the deal, he seems, I feel like, you know, he kinda tries to scrape a little bit off the top for himself, to be honest."

"I personally believe he is making moves on Manny's behalf without Manny knowing; definitely!"

"He's basically pissed off pretty much everyone in the camp at some point."

"Once he gets to a certain position, he kinda likes to act like he's the king, you know what I mean?"

"When Michael Koncz uses power, he uses it. When he needs something, he'll call you. He's the kinda guy that when he needs a favor from us, he'll talk to us, but when we need something from him, he's sitting on the highest pirch you can't touch. You could literally be dying on the street and he won't call you, but if he needs something, like the simplest thing, he'll call you and bug the shit out of you."

"The Philippines doesn't like him. The country as a whole doesn't like him. He's not making millions of dollars for Manny. He's sitting there and seeping money in my opinion. And then when the people who are actually making dollars for Manny are trying to work on it, he stands in there way, which doesn't make any sense to me."

"The way he got into Manny's inner circle is that he just stuck around. In Filipino culture, you know, when we get used to certain things, you kinda want to keep certain things that way. You know, when Manny goes to fight in Vegas, he'll stay at the Mandalay Bay, he'll ride over in a Top Rank Manny Pacquiao bus; it's a pilgrimage. They'll visit the same people they do before they go to a fight and they'll keep the same people around, you know what I mean? If new people stay around or keep coming by, you'll expect them to come back. That's why he [Pacquiao] ends up comping a lot of different people to come stay at the fight, even though they don't do anything, because he wants to keep a tradition. If you start a tradition, you stick with it and, you know, it's a pilgrimage that keeps going and Michael Koncz I think just kinda like stuck himself into that Filipino style pilgrimage of traveling around and handling the boxing career."

TEAM PACQUIAO MEMBER #3: "Me and my partner made a proposal and we went straight to Manny. When Michael Koncz found this out, he got so mad at us. He said, 'You are not to give anything to Manny. You come straight to me,' blah, blah, blah."

"So when he told us that we are not to talk to Manny directly, that's when it first hit me like, 'Oh, we're going to have a problem with this guy.' Even though he told us that, we still went inside the Pallazo and we still presented it to Manny at the table. Me and my partner was like, 'Should we tell him what we just encountered right now?' And then we did and then he [Pacquiao] said, 'What? I don't have a manager. He's not my manager.' Straight up like that. And I was like, 'Well, yeah, we kinda know that, but I just wanted to let you know that's what we just encountered right before we came in here.' And then he calls him, 'Mike, come here!' Like that. That's when Mike said, 'Oh shit, these guys actually put me on blast right now.' So he's going to give us a hard time. We gave him a hard time, he's going to give us a hard time, and since then, he's been giving us a hard time."

"Michael Koncz has done all of this stuff; he's very coniving. I mean, he's good, in a way, but he's a bad person. He knows what he's doing. There's a lot of other stuff I could tell you. Like he's supposed to take care of the other boxers, which I befriended them; they became my friends. Rodel Mayol, Bernabe Concepcion, Eden Sonsona...they're not being fed, they don't have salary, they go to Mexico most of the time, which I found out Mexico became good friends with Michael Koncz. See, in Mexico, they don't have any support; no support whatsoever. There was one boxer...he went to the fight with no cornerman at all; no cornerman, just him by himself. And I know that's what sucks about the whole thing because not only is Michael Koncz doing it to Manny, but he's also doing it to other boxers."

"Koncz straight tells the boxers if you say anything bad about the way you are treated, you will never fight again."

"Even Rodel Mayol, his own boxer, will say something. He never got paid. Michael Koncz never gave him the money. He could say a lot of things. That's why we try to back up Rodel Mayol as much as we can because he's a boxer who should be continuing to box right now, but he doesn't have a schedule and the one who gets him scheduled comes from Michael Koncz."

TEAM PACQUIAO MEMBER #4: "Because Michael Koncz sleeps with Manny all the time, he's like his freakin' dog, he sleeps on the floor and he's his shadow morning, afternoon, night time, wherever Manny is, he's always there, so he knows everything; Michael knows everything, whether it's good, bad, whatever, he knows everything so he can work around everything. That's why he has control over everything, which kinda sucks because Manny straight told us, 'Manny Koncz is not my manager, so don't listen to him.' He told me and my partner, 'Never go to him. You go always to me.' That's what he told us in Tagalog, that's what he told us in English."

"I think Michael Koncz is trying to take away everything that Manny worked hard for because he knows everything; he's close to Bob Arum. My point is, I've been friends with Manny for the longest time and I've never seen this happen."

"He's an advisor, but what kind of advice is he giving to Manny?"

"Michael Koncz even messed up the one and only event that Manny was paid for to go to Hawaii. Manny's never been to Hawaii for any event; concert, nothing in Hawaii. It was Michael Koncz and I know it was Michael Koncz because, first of all, I have all the emails...they even forwarded me Michael Koncz blackmail text message...and then it came out that Hawaii is the one who made the mistake. It's not true. It's Michael who made the mistake because Michael asked, on top of the money that was offered, he asked for another $25,000, which is wrong."

"Mike is a huge control freak; huge control freak and that's what he is. I mean the dude is a control freak and has to be in control of every single detail of every single camp and then as soon as he gets above you in the camp or gets where he thinks he can take you out, he tries to remove you. He tried to remove Freddie Roach, he tried to remove Alex Ariza, and right now, he's trying to remove Attorney Jeng Gacal. He is trying to remove everybody that he can so he can have power over the entire camp because he's a control freak."

"He's controlling the money. I'm telling you, Pacquiao loves to hand out everybody's check. People come to him, and this is before he leaves, he hands out their check, they give Manny Pacquiao a hug, they take pictures; it's a big deal to Manny and this makes Manny happy. This year, it's changed. Guess what? Manny Pacquiao didn't hand out anyone's check. Manny Pacquiao got shoved in the limo, didn't even get to say goodbye to his friends, he was taken to the airport, and who hands out the checks? Koncz hands out the checks after Manny Pacquiao leaves. Why? So he can look everybody and go, 'I have authority now. Don't ever fuck with me!'"

TEAM PACQUIAO MEMBER #5: "The only person that could have gotten Gary Poole the access that Gary Poole had, because Gary Poole had access in the Philippines when Manny Pacquiao was campaigning. Nobody had access to that except Michael Koncz. So Gary Poole was able to get access and Michael Koncz was the only person able to give him that authority. Why and how did Koncz give Gary Poole this much authority to go in his camp time and time again. The interesting thing is Koncz was one of the only people that knew the title and what the cover looked like for Manny Pacquiao's official autobiography that Timothy James was working on; a big yellow Pacman. So somehow, Gary Poole's book gets released 30 days before Tim's book with the same cover, Pacman, so they could capitalize on the fact that everybody knew Manny Pacquiao was coming out with a book. See, Michael Koncz didn't get paid on that deal. Timothy James did not give Koncz a piece of the action. Everybody knows in the camp that if you want Koncz to be on your side, you gotta give him a piece of the action. Well, he [Timothy James] didn't give him a piece of this action. Now did he get a piece of Poole's action? Well, how did Poole get everywhere? And Poole got inside information to drop a book 30 days before Tim's book."

"The publisher of Tim's book had a special book made off press to be flown in, overnighted, for the Jimmy Kimmel show back when Manny Pacquiao did Jimmy Kimmel before the fight. The book arrived on time. It was confirmed by the producers of Jimmy Kimmel that they received the book 2 hours before, that it was going to be on the show, that it was going to be the highlight of the show and Manny was going to hold the book up and they were going to talk about it. So Tim talked to Koncz about it, but he didn't know. Tim was supposed to ride down to the show with Manny, but then Koncz started acting all funny. When the limo shows up, everyone hopped inside and the door shut on Tim. Somebody high up in Manny's camp rolled down the window and told Tim that he wasn't coming. Apparently, Koncz made a phone call to the person in the limo and said that according to Manny Pacquiao, Tim's not allowed to go. So Tim's standing outside the limo like a fan and Manny Pacquiao comes walking out of the Wildcard gym. Tim's sees him and goes, 'Manny, Manny, do you want me to go Jimmy Kimmel with you? We talked about this. We're going to do the book.' Manny says, 'Yeah, of course Tim, let's go.' So obviously never said that to Koncz so Tim hopped in the limo and went there together. So they go together and 15 minutes before Manny's going on stage, for some reason, the Kimmel people yanked the book. So Manny goes on the show and they never talk about the book. The publisher, the investors, everyone is up in arms and they can't figure out why the book isn't on there. So they called the producers at Jimmy Kimmel and they just said Manny's manager had it pulled. Well Manny doesn't have a manager, but the people at Jimmy Kimmel said Mike's the manager. So for no reason, he gets it pulled. After the fight, Manny was scheduled for two appearances to book signings. Michael Koncz was a huge influence for Manny not to show up to both of those signings."

"Why didn't Koncz ever go on the record and say, 'Hey everybody, Gary Poole, this isn't Manny Pacquiao's autobiography.' Why didn't he say, 'Hey you guys, I gave Gary Poole all this access, but it wasn't to write a book. Hey you guys, I gave Gary Poole all this access, but I thought it was to do articles. Hey you guys, this isn't official.' Why didn't Koncz ever come out and let people know the truth? It's because Koncz got paid and Koncz is getting paid and he doesn't care that it's fucking Manny. Gary Poole's book probably cost Manny one million dollars in sales on his own book and Koncz doesn't care becuase he's out for himself."

With so many members of Team Pacquiao at odds with Michael Koncz, one has to wonder exactly why Manny Pacquiao would keep him around, particularly since he's made it clear that Koncz is not his manager and that no one has to go through him for approval on any matters relating to the pound-for-pound champion. There definitely appears to be a divide growing in Team Pacquiao due to moves being made by Michael Koncz unbeknownst to Manny. The question is, does anyone other than Pacquiao himself really have the ability to do anything about it?



[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]

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