After the article written by Michael Marley was posted on the Internet on Oct. 4,2009, fans of Pound for Pound King Manny Pacquiao has been pounding the Internet traffic with harsh criticisms against Pacman's adviser Michael Koncz.
It was reported that Koncz personally told Paquiao to dump his long-time coach Freddie Roach.
He allegedly said "Manny does not need Freddie but Freddie needs Manny," and further referred to Roach as an unnecessary expense at this point in Manny's career.
Perennial coach of the year Freddie Roach is an unnecessary expense for Pacquiao? I beg to disagree. If there is anyone who deserves a lot of credit for molding and cementing Pacquiao's legacy in boxing, it is definitely Roach and not someone with the last name of Koncz. Even a five-year-old Filipino kid would probably know this.
What in the world is going on inside Koncz mind? Is he going to fire Roach and get a sudden replacement coach who would ask for a lesser price to train Pacquiao for his encounter with Cotto which is only a month away?
I can't find enough words on how to condemn this. Koncz is supposed to be Pacquiao's adviser and yet he gives the kind of advise that would surely ruin Manny's career and reputation. His action has just created an internal conflict within team Pacquiao.
Internal squabbles within teams has never been good in sports. Who could ever forget the star studded L.A. Lakers back in 2004 who had Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O' Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton plus their legendary coach Phil Jackson but were crushed by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA finals 4-1. The Lakers were the heavy favorites but they lost not because of lack of talent but because of the ego wars between Kobe and Shaq.
Like the Lakers, Pacquiao will enter the ring on Nov. 14 also as the heavy favorite against the larger Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao clearly has the edge here but we will never know what might happen if he gets distracted by all these issues in training camp.
We can never deny the fact that aside from being physically conditioned, a boxer also needs to be psychologically and emotionally prepared for him to perform at the top of his game.
Noteworthy here is also Ricky Hatton's experience under Floyd Mayweather Sr. Looking back in his pre-fight training before his encounter with Pacquiao, Hatton openly admitted about the conflicts within his camp.
Assistant trainer Lee Beard was not in good terms with Mayweather. Well, we all know Hatton lasted only two rounds and then primarily placed the blame on his coach for not training him well.
The parties involved here, Pacquiao, Koncz and Roach has not yet issued any official statements about this issue as of this writing. Despite of that, hordes of Pacman fanatics are already blasting away with comments demanding Koncz to leave Pacquiao.
Personally, I don't think boxing's ultimate dynamic duo would go separate ways just because of an adviser that has clearly been consumed by hunger for more dollars. On a logical and financial perspective, Pacquiao would earn a lot more by sticking with Roach as he is already accustomed to the trainer's style.
In the original article, although Marley did not reveal yet the specifics as to who his source is, his reputation alone in the field of boxing is already enough to attest to the credibility of his articles. He was a former sports columnist for New York Post, a criminal defense lawyer who has worked with Don King and has been writing about the sweet science for decades now.