By Michael Marley
Michael Lodge and his VisionQwest accounting firm were said to have been fired, and later replaced, by WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
In a brief response to a litany of complaints and allegations by VQ, Pacquiao's agent Michael Koncz told me that the spurned firm was "disgruntled" and that their recent press release on the situation was just sour grapes.
Now comes a counterpunch from Lodge, who told me late Thursday night that Top Rank chieftain Bob Arum personally complained to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (presumably to lawyer and executive secretary Keith Kizer) when Lodge was at the boxing board's Las Vegas office seeking Pacquiao's financial documents.
"I saw your article. The State Athletic Commission offers a lot of information.
"The files show checks written. We can compare the Top Rank bout contracts to the Nevada contract. There are gate proceeds to compare to the venue and then to the income statements Top Rank prepares," Lodge said.
"There are side deals that Koncz made when the income should have gone to MP Promotions. Checks to undercards to verify against the Top Rank financial statements to verify expense.
"There is a wealth of information in those files and when Top Rank refuses to give documents you go to other info sources. While I was there Bob Arum called the Commissioner wanting to know why I was there. Lots of information in those files needed for examination," Lodge said.
Pacquiao replaced VQ with another Los Angeles based accounting firm.
Lodge, who earlier said he would file a lawsuit over his termination by the Pinoy Idol, made no further comment as to possible litigation against the boxer, Koncz or Top Rank.
VQ does a lot of business in the Philippines.