by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz has claimed that the “Fighter of the Decade” had met with trainer Freddie Roach and agreed to the celebrated trainer’s decision to fire strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
In an overseas telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard which broke the story after Ariza told us he doesn’t work for Roach so there’s no way he can fire him, Koncz said he was there when Pacquiao and Roach met in Macau to discuss his preparation for the showdown with Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and Pacquiao agreed that Freddie “is in charge of the training camp and whatever Freddie wants Manny is in support of.”
Reportedly Roach didn’t want Ariza with whom both he and Koncz have had differences with in the past.
When reminded by us that he had always insisted “Manny is the boss” and the individual who makes all the decisions, Koncz said “no matter who’s the boss, Manny agreed with what Freddie wanted and that’s it.”
At the same time Koncz said the Pacquiao entourage will return on Friday from what he described as a “highly successful but grueling media tour with the media response in Macau and China unbelievable.”
He said it would be a grueling journey of almost 40,000 miles when its over but it was “fantastic.”
He predicted the Pacquiao-Rios showdown will “make history as one of the most successful shows with the number of people in China” driving the numbers both in terms of attendance and TV viewership.
Koncz said he expects the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino to be sold out with a large number of fans from the Philippines, Singapore and even Russia flying to Macau for the fight.”
The adviser “it will give many fans a chance to see Manny.”
Koncz disclosed that the huge expenses normally incurred by Pacquiao in providing airline tickets, hotel accommodation and fight tickets won’t happen this time.
He said “expenses are being reduced dramatically” and that Pacquiao merely plans to fly in many family members and relatives to Macau for the fight.