Calling it a “misunderstanding,” the advisor of Manny Pacquiao addressed an alleged assault on Getty Images photographer Al Bello during the chaotic aftermath of the Filipino’s sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“There was a misunderstanding,” said Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz, who would not comment on the details of the situation. “And if it was construed any other way, then he has my sincerest apology.”
According to a report by Yahoo! Sports, Bello was taking photos of Pacquiao, who was knocked cold and in a prone position, when he was allegedly attacked by Koncz, as well as Pacquiao’s longtime friend Restituto “BuBoy” Fernandez, an assistant to head trainer Freddie Roach.
Bello jumped off the apron to avoid the confrontation with the men, according to Yahoo! Sports.
“Had I not gotten off the ring,” said Bello, “I have no doubt the two of them would have beaten the [expletive] out of me and I might have been seriously hurt.”
Bello did not contact police, according to the Yahoo! Sports story, and simply wanted an apology from Koncz and Fernandez.
Later, Koncz added to his earlier statement.
“I think that in the heat of concern for Manny’s health and safety at that moment, there was a misunderstanding between the cameraman, myself and BuBoy,” said Koncz.
“So on behalf of BuBoy and myself, we apologize for any inconvenience that it may have caused to the cameraman.”
Reached by RingTV.com, Bello referred questions to Getty Images publicist Jodi Einhorn.
“Getty Images takes the safety of our photographers and the important work that they do very seriously,” read an e-mail from Einhorn to RingTV.com in reaction to Koncz’s comments.
“Al Bello is an award winning photojournalist who was doing his job capturing the Pacquiao vs. Marquez fight. The attack on him was in violation of the NSAC rules and in a manner inconsistent with the conduct of boxing professionals and their entourages photographed by Al for years.”
Keith Kizer, director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, informed RingTV.com that he is expecting a letter of explanation from Bello and Getty Photos, confirmed that his organization is looking into the matter, and that Koncz and Fernandez could face disciplinary action.
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 knockouts), who turned 39 in August, had battled to a draw and lost by split- and majority decisions to Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) before Saturday.
Photo by Chris Cozzone
Photo by Al Bello, Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org