Lem Satterfield

Koncz speaks to RingTV.com about alleged unrest in Pacquiao camp

Manny Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz spoke to RingTV.com in an attempt to clear up swirling reports relating to general unrest within Team Pacquiao as well as ongoing rumors that Koncz is on his way out.

Koncz said he spoke briefly to Pacquiao face-to-face upon his arrival in the Philippines on Friday [Thursday in the U.S.] to determine his fate and was reassured that he remains head of boxing operations for the fighter.

One rumor was that he had been replaced by a man named Jose Castillo, although Koncz hadn’t heard that.

"He's a bad guy. He used to be the manger of [the late] Edwin Valero, and he was sued by Marco Antonio Barrera. Why? What have you heard about him now?" said Koncz, claiming that he was unaware that Castillo might be in line to take his place. "I kind of doubt that, but I've heard nothing about it. Nothing!"

Pacquiao is scheduled to face Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time on Nov. 12, a fight Koncz said Castillo tried to scuttle.

"Castillo also tried to sabotage our negotiations with Juan Manuel Marquez for the third fight with Manny by going to Marquez before Marquez had signed the contract and telling Marquez not to sign because he could get Marquez more money," said Koncz.

"Apparently, Marquez told him, I guess, to get lost. So I guess that since he couldn't manipulate himself into that fight, that he's coming over here to try something else."

Castillo neither confirmed nor denied any association with Pacquiao when speaking with RingTV.com — "I am not at liberty to speak on that. I can't tell you anything about that right now” – but did say that Koncz mischaracterized his relationship with Barrera and denied any efforts to spoil Pacquiao-Marquez III.

“ I have never talked to Marquez at all,” he said. “Also regarding Barrera, Mr. Koncz has absolutely incorrect information. Some people are not speaking well of me and they don't even know me. I don't know Mr. Koncz, and can't tell you anything about him, bad or good."

Meanwhile, Koncz said that Pacquiao was pleased to see him when he arrived in the Philippines.

"When I arrived this morning, Manny was relaxing and playing some billiards,” he said. “I walked in and he put a big smile on his face. I haven't had a chance to sit down with him, but I'm assuming everything is as it has been."

Koncz then answered questions regarding audits of the financial records of Pacquiao and his promoter, Top Rank, which Koncz requested. The audits are being conducted by a Glendale, Calif.-based accounting firm called VisionQuest, which is run by Michael Lodge.

"We went into Top Rank's office at my urging and at Manny’s urging and exercised that option,” he said. “We did that not because we thought that there were any improprieties or that we suspected that something was not right. We did it as our contractual right and I wanted to exercise that option to make sure that everything was on the up-and-up.

"We're entitled within our contract with Top Rank to have all financial records pertaining to all of Manny's fights to date to be reviewed by VisionQuest."

Koncz said VisionQuest brought in a specialist on pay-per-view finances at his urging.

"I specifically requested that they bring in somebody else with expertise with pay-per-view numbers, which they did," said Koncz. "They spent more or less three days in Top Rank's office and gave me a report. As far I'm concerned, they're doing a very thorough job in monitoring our tax issues and reviewing documents."
The audits were confirmed by Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum during an interview with Boxingscene.com.

"These audits will result in money refunds to Manny,” Arum told the Web site. “He just got one for almost $1 million. These audits are not going to result in any liabilities for Manny, no liabilities whatsoever, just getting money back. Manny's in good shape in this tax category."

Arum also commented on reports that Pacquiao's net worth was "only" $26 million even though he reportedly pocketed at least $20 million for his victory over Shane Mosley on May 7.

"They say that by far, he's the richest congressman in the country,” Arum told Boxingscene. “Remember, he's got a lot of real estate also. So I don't know how they account for all that or if it is understated. I would estimate Manny's net worth to be more — a lot more."

Koncz refused to address how much he believes Pacquiao is worth, saying, "that's something that should come directly from Manny."

A partner in Pacquiao's MP Promotions, Koncz has been labled by some of Pacquiao's own camp members as being a "crook."  But Koncz said that it was he who hired VisionQuest nearly three years ago in December.

"VisionQuest was not just hired in the last few days,” he said. “VisionQuest was brought in, in fact, at my request and with Manny's knowledge. … I'm the one that advocated them to come in on behalf of Manny. I'm the reason that they continue to be our accountants, and they've done a tremendous job.

"So it's just somewhat surprising to me that the article on Manny's official Web site would make it seem like they were brought in suddenly on an emergency basis. Manny had already re-emphasized it over the phone to me earlier in the week that I am to continue to be the coordinator and to work directly with VisionQuest."

Koncz said that all of Pacquiao's finances are an open book to VisionQuest, and that even his own financial records are being checked.

"As has been in the past, I'm the one who is dealing with VisionQuest, and I'm the one who is providing them with all of the documentation and all of the access to the bank records, including my own," said Koncz.

"I'm providing them itemization of expenses and stuff like that. Manny told me before I got here that he expected me to continue to do that. Anything else that you read about this is just bulls–t."

Arum has defended Koncz.

"Michael is very valuable and he's a guy who looks out for Manny 100 percent,” Arum told Boxingscene. “My feelings about Michael are that he's got Manny's best interest at heart. Michael accounts for every nickle, and he chases us to make sure that every nickle is paid. Does he have the best personality to handle a lot of situation? No. But he's an honest guy. That's what Manny needs more than anything else — an honest representative."

Pacquiao has said "Michael Koncz is trustworthy," and "honest," along with being his personal confidant and personal assistant.

Arum also sides with Koncz on what he considers to be a struggle for power within Team Pacquiao and contributors to Pacquiao's Web site.

"This will be straightened out. There's a lot of jealousy. … It takes me back to the days of the Muhammad Ali entourage. That was the same kind of (thing),” Arum said.

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