By Michael Marley
Manny Pacquiao's agent Michael Koncz had a brief but pungent response to a press release blasted out by the fighter's former accounting firm, VisionQwest.
In the lengthy release, which I carried verbatim in this space Wednesday, VQ which is headed up by Michael Lodge and operates in both the U.S. and the Philippines, alleges that its efforts to obtain and audit pertinent financial records were repeatedly stymied by Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, by Koncz and finally by Pacquiao himself when the boxer fired the firm.
Koncz, the often-controversial Canadian who once took a run at resurrecting the ring career of heavyweight contender turned mental case and prison inmate Ike Ibeabuchi, said the odor emanting from VQ is that of sour grapes.
"Predictable comments from a disgruntled company which was fired by Manny Pacquiao," Koncz wrote in an email to me Thursday.
Lodge and colleagues were in Manila to meet Pacquiao at the end of August but got stood up and then axed by the Pound for Pound ring king.
Speaking to the media on Aug. 25, Lodge said a lawsuit was forthcoming.
"No more games to be played," Lodge said, a bit cryptically.
Now that Lodge's outfit has taken its public shots at Top Rank and Koncz, only a couple of questions remain.
One, will VQ want to possibly alienate itself by sueing Pacman and/or his chosen promoter and henchman Koncz?
With Pacquiuao's phenomenal popularity in his homeland and his Congressional position, not to mention growing speculation of a presidential bid in the future, it might make sense for VisionQwest to drop the matter.
Pacquiao's books, including his American tax issues, are said to being dissected now by a Los Angeles area accounting firm which, according to Arum, was recommened by the fighter's attorneys in that city, Daniel Petrocelli and David Marroso.
Tanner, Mainstain, Blatt & Glynn have been hired to clean up Pacman's financial mess, including the IRS issues.
"I've verified that they're all certified public accountants, and I’ve prioritized what they've been hired to do," Koncz said to RingTV's Lem Satterfield. "The first priority is to contact the IRS, to inform the IRS that they’ve taken over Manny’s representation, and to facilitate whatever information they're entitled to and that they need to continue the audit that's been ongoing."
"I furthered assured them at any and all documents requested by the accounting firm will be provided forthwith," Koncz said.
Top Rank Inc. CEO and Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum said he will be cooperating with the firm.
"They're a terrific firm. They were highly recommended, and we're working with them on the IRS audits of Manny's returns," he said.
A second lingering question is that VQ expected to get on Pacman's revenues by asking the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Like most state boxing commissions, Nevada collects bout contracts, not promotional contracts, and thus would have not a single detail as to pay-per-view TV income and other income sources for the world's most popular fighter.
Third, many companies do not want to give current and potential future clients that they might be sued if the client(s) decides to terminate its relationship.
We shall see what we shall see...