Lem Satterfield

Advisor talks to Pacquiao, insists he isn’t fired

After speaking with eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao moments ago, Michael Koncz, the fighter's adviser, dismissed a widely reported rumor in the Filipino press that Pacquiao had fired him.

"I called Manny and told him that the media is calling me and bombarding me with questions about my being fired,” Koncz told RingTV.com. “I told him that 'I want your permission to respond to them by saying that I personally spoke to you a few minutes ago and that the accusations and stories on the internet are totally untrue, and that I still work for you.’

"And he said, 'Yes, of course.' It was a very short conversation that took about a minute.”

Koncz, a partner in Pacquiao's MP Promotions, has been labeled by some of Pacquiao's own camp members as being a "crook."

But Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, called Koncz "an honest guy."

"Michael is very valuable and he's a guy who looks out for Manny 100 percent. My feelings about Michael are that he's got Manny's best interest at heart," Arum said. "Michael accounts for every nickel, and he chases us to make sure that every nickel is paid.

"Does he have the best personality to handle a lot of situations? No. But he's an honest guy. That's what Manny needs more than anything else — an honest representative."

In February, as part of a press tour promotion Pacquiao's May 7 fight against Shane Mosley, Koncz sat across from Pacquiao and the fighter's wife, Jinkee, during a train ride from New York to Washington, D.C..

That leg of the tour had followed a New York press conference at Chelsea Pier No. 61, the third stop in a four-city tour.

Pointing at Koncz, Pacquiao said, "Michael Koncz is trustworthy," and "honest," adding that he considered Koncz to be his personal confidant as well as his personal assistant.

"What irritates me more is that I've worked very hard to gain Manny's trust and respect. But more importantly than that, with people making false stories and accusations on my behalf, what bothers me the most is that insults Manny's intelligence," Koncz said.

"If I was the bad guy doing all of these things that people are alleging, then why would Manny keep me around? Manny is a very intelligent man, and he knows for himself who is doing what for him and who is not doing it."

In July of 2010, the aftermath of a second-round knockout by then-WBO featherweight titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez of Filipino Bernabe Concepcion got ugly for Koncz.

Koncz was blasted by members of the Filipino media who believed he had been responsible for pushing Concepcion into a fight that was beyond his ability to win.

In additon, Koncz has been accused of trying to get rid of Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer and fitness coach.

"I'm sure that I can speculate as to who the source is, and I'm sure that my speculation would be accurate, but, you know, the bottom line is that I do not care about the people who do this. My obligation and my loyalties are to Manny Pacquiao, and that's what I demonstrate," Koncz said.

"Manny has promised me that when and if there is  a day where he feels that he cannot trust me, or doesn't need me, he will come to me personally and tell me that. If that happens, then we will shake hands and say, 'OK, goodbye.' It's very simple. But this is not the first time people have tried to put wedges between Manny and I when I'm apart from him."

And Koncz knows that it probably will not be the last.

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