By Chris Robinson
This past weekend's Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley press conference was a rather odd event, as the two pugilists staged separate press conferences at the same time a few rooms away from one another in the basement lobby of the MGM Grand. Members from the media were constantly on the run in an effort to get something meaningful from the two camps just moments before the fighters took to the main arena for the public portion of the presser.
While walking to take some pictures of Pacquiao, I ran across his advisor Michael Koncz, who always has a knack for being in the news it seems. Starting our conversation in casual fashion, I asked the Canadian his thoughts on Pacquiao returning to Nevada after a two-fight run in Dallas, Texas last year.
"We're real happy to come back to Vegas," said Koncz. "It's like a second home. Manny feels very comfortable here. The hotels treat us great. We will be staying at the hotel, like we always do."
As reported by my colleague Ronnie Nathanielsz, Koncz recently made the trek overseas to Singapore along with Ilocos Sur governor Luis 'Chavit' Singson and met up with some power players looking to stage Pacquiao's next fight in the island country. While the deal at one time was thought to be 90% done, Koncz revealed that it is far from a lock.
"There's been some new developments," he continued. "I may have to put the Singapore thing on hold and I can't get into the new developments. But there is another country that we met with [Friday] that is a tremendous opportunity. But the Singapore thing is real. It's the same people who brought the Formula One Racing. It's a legitimate group that has the money and stuff."
One of the subplots surrounding the Mosley fight is the fact that 'Sugar' broke free from his promotional ties with Golden Boy Promotions in an effort to land the fight. Golden Boy and Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, have been at odds ends with one another, not having done business since Pacquiao's May 2009 thrashing of Ricky Hatton, and it is always a hot topic within the sport.
There have been whispers that Mexico City's Juan Manuel Marquez may end up following Mosley's lead in an effort to land a third fight against his Filipino foil. Marquez fought Pacquiao to a draw in May of 2004 and lost a hotly contested split decision to him in March of 2008. Marquez recently turned down an April bout with Erik Morales because the contract came with stipulations from Golden Boy to handle Marquez's future fights. As it is, Marquez is set to be a free agent near the end of the month.
Many fans want to see a third bout but Koncz personally isn't too ecstatic about the thought of it.
"We're never going to rule him out but as Manny said a long time ago, we have nothing more to prove with Marquez," Koncz noted. "Me, personally, Marquez has got Manny figured out for some reason and if we fight him twenty times I believe all twenty times there is going to be controversy on who wins that fight."
Newsflash: Pacquiao and Mosley hit New York
Koncz also saw his name in the rumor mill recently as talks leaked of strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza's possible exit from Team Pacquiao. The reports have since proven to be untrue but Ariza hinted that Koncz was responsible for stirring the pot.
Giving his take on the matter, a disgusted Koncz says that such banter points to not only his lack of judgment, but Pacquiao's as well.
"I'm very upset at these rumors. I don't care what people say about me but when people start talking stuff like that, to me, personally, it just insults the intelligence of Manny. People seem to think that I have the power of God or something. But I don't care what people say, what I really despise and what I feel happens, is it infers that maybe Manny isn't intelligent. And he's one of the most intelligent people that I've ever been around. He's the boss. He makes the decisions, not me."