By Edward Chaykovsky
Michael Koncz, adviser to WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, is standing firm on his demand for a $5 million penalty for a failed drug test in the upcoming fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who holds the WBC/WBA welterweight titles. The fight takes place on May 2nd from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the US Anti-Doping Agency [USADA] is handing the random drug testing protocol.
Koncz made a request for a failed test penalty of $5 million if either boxer tests positive for a banned substance, which in turn would cancel the fight.
Leonard Ellerbe, adviser to Mayweather, rejected the penalty demand and called Koncz "an idiot." Ellerbe says the offending fighter would suffer monetary damages that far outweigh a demand of $5 million and feels Koncz is attempting to limit the scope of the offender's financial liability.
Speaking to the Philippine Star, Koncz explains that he's not trying to limit the financial liability to the offending party and he's only trying to protect his fighter's interests by giving him immediate compensation - which is separate from their pursuit of legal damages.
He detailed that any potential PED fine by USADA or the Nevada State Athletic Commission would not land in Pacquiao's hands. Those fines would be absorbed by USADA and the NSAC, says Koncz. He says a legal battle could be drawn out for years, but a penalty clause would give either fighter $5 million before the legal proceedings would even begin.
Pacquiao's own promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, agrees with Mayweather's team, and says a $5 million fine is not necessary - but Koncz disagrees.
“Again, it makes perfect sense to me to have a monetary compensation for the party that’s affected by the testing,” he told The STAR. "If somebody tests positive the commission will take action. They will fine the individual and the fine goes to the commission. It doesn’t go to the fighter. And the drug-testing company has the right to suspend somebody for a period of up to four years if he tests positive."
“Brandon Rios tested positive after the fight and the commission suspended him for four or six months and fined him but there was no benefit to Manny. It’s very disappointing and somewhat surprising that Floyd says he wants to clean up the sport but then what’s wrong with entering into an agreement with the other fighter."