By Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz has effectively downgraded the proposal of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for Pacquiao to fight Argentina’s Luis Abregu in Macau on November 22.
Top Rank’s matchmakers headed by Hall of Famer Bruce Trampler had recommended Abregu who is ranked No. 2 by the WBC and No. 4 by the WBO where Pacquiao is welterweight champion.
Koncz told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard Abregu “is not the top one on our list. We are not too excited about that (fight).”
The 30 year old Abregu has an impressive record of 30-1 with 21 knockouts. His only setback was a twelve round unanimous decision loss to former WBO welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley on July 17, 2010 after which Abregu won the vacant WBC Silver title with a ten round unanimous decision over Antonio Decarie (27-1, 8 KO’s) on April 27, 2013 and an 8th round TKO victory over undefeated Venezuelan southpaw Jean Carlos Prada (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) last April 4.
He disclosed that he “went over the names (of proposed opponents) briefly with Manny yesterday (Monday) and we talked about each fighter, the pros and cons. We will look at some video and then we’ll decide.”
Koncz said “ We will make a decision at the end of the family vacation of Manny (to Israel and Britain) by the last week of June.”
The adviser declined to reveal the names of the opponents listed down in the options presented by Top Rank because, he said, “it will be detrimental to negotiations because they will think we are chasing them.”
He also said the November 22 date for Pacquiao’s return in Macau was approved.
Although Arum had suggested while in Macau that five-division world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” would be on the Pacquiao card Koncz discarded the proposal claiming it wouldn’t be an advantage business-wide for Pacquiao whose MP Promotions is a co-promoter of his fights with Top Rank.
Koncz said “how is he going to sell one more ticket that Manny can’t sell?”
Reminded by the Standard that the full-house at the Cotai Arena when Donaire won the WBA featherweight title from Simpiwe Vetyeka and the chants of “Nonito! Nonito!” by the fans showed he had his fans, Koncz replied “I’m not saying he doesn’t have fans, I’m not talking bad about him, Manny will sell the entire Philippine audience. No matter who you put on the card, they are not going to bring in anything substantial as to the Philippine audience. Manny will do all of that.”
Koncz posed the question “ Why will we spend $1 million in profits on a fight that’s not going to generate any actual additional income, if it does, it will be very little. It makes no business sense. We are co-promoters so we share in the expenses, we share in the profits.” He made it clear that “unless Bob Arum can tell me how its financially advantageous to us” Donaire won’t be on the Pacquiao card in Macau.