By Michael Marley
Breathless press releases and related reports and a swirl of rumors make it sound as all business operations including boxing contracts involving Pinoy Idol Manny Pacquiao have been usurped a by a crew of number-crunching accountants from Los Angeles.
Those with the wildest imaginations want it to seem as though Team Pacquiao has just been taken over in a bloodless coup d’etat reminiscent of some banana republic.
There is plenty of smoke, fire and ire in and round Pacman’s Innter Circle, this is true, and things will heat up even more when controversial Canadian adviser Michael Koncz lands in Manila Thursday morning.
But, according to promoter Bob Arum who interrupted his South of France summer vacation to speak with me, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Meaning, the more things change in Pacland, the more they will stay the same. Arum is not sweating a release put out by convicted armed robber/former LA County court bailiff and longtime steroid abuser with an obsession to become a famed bodybuilder Timothy James Sladeck.
In the release on the so-called “official” Pacquiao website MP8, the ex-convict who got caught after robbing a jewelry store mainly because he left a cowboy hat at the scene of the crime announced that a businessman named Michael Lodge and his company VisionQwest Resource Group Inc. and VisionQwest Accountancy will “handle all accounting, personal and business tax, audits and examinations, as well all contract reviews.”
Nowhere does it say that these bean counters or anyone working at their behest will be negotiatining Pacquiao fight contracts with Arum’s Top Rank.
“All these guys, it’s nothing new, they’ve been around with Manny,” Arum said Wednesday. “They are nice guys. None of them do or can do what Michael Koncz does for Manny.
“What they do is something different.”
I asked Arum who the “boxing expert” might be who has been hired by the bean counters in conjunction with the obsessive-complusive ex-juicehead Sladeck (who now uses the name Timothy James publicly).
“I don’t know,” the 79 year old Arum said. “Oh, wait, yes I do, they’ve got some broken down guy out of orange County, a guy named Castillo who was handling (the late) Edwin Valero.”
I asked Arum if the accountants or Castillo would affect Koncz’s role with Pacquiao for whom Koncz has been a loyal liege for years.
“I don’t think so, I mean Manny did not hire him (Castillo),” Arum said.
More to come on the Revolution In Pacland on why Sladeck is the most dangerous person in Pacquiao’s extended circle.