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THE SPIN HAS BEGUN: SCANDAL AMONG TEAM PACQUIAO

By Ryan Kennedy | July 22, 2011
THE SPIN HAS BEGUN: SCANDAL AMONG TEAM PACQUIAO

In a week that should have centered on the departure of HBO's head of sports Ross Greenberg, the boxing buzz has been all about Manny Pacquiao's hiring of outside financial consulting firm VisionQwest to handle his business affairs, and depending on who you ask, Michael Koncz's ousting from Team Pacquiao. That's right folks.  Manny Pacquiao, the millionaire many times over with countless revenue streams and a seemingly endless amount of paid professionals among his entourage - be it promoters, trainers, accountants, whoever - has hired a real team of professionals to handle his business dealings instead of "that guy Michael Koncz who sleeps on my floor."

SHOOT.

This of course means that with far more qualified third-party professionals handling his finances, the risk of hanger-ons within his camp hosing him over will be significantly reduced.

DARN IT!

Any back-earnings or money Manny is owed that could have otherwise been looked over until now will now be accounted for.

*GASP*

And yes, it may also mean that any previous mishandlings of Manny's finances will now be brought to light and the perpetrators could be brought to justice.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

One might think it be silly that someone could perceive this as a bad thing, but if you were judging by the spin coming from the Top Rank camp, it is absolutely that.

Since the story broke, writer and Bob Arum lap dog Michael Marley has gone into overdrive with character assassination of  anyone somehow perceived to be involved in the ousting of Koncz and the arrival of the new team of financial consultants.

Logic and reason tells us that his kind of behavior suggests anger, fear, and anxiety from certain individuals within the Pacquiao camp.  But then, this is the same logic and reason used to deduce that Manny finally using a qualified team of financial professionals to handle his affairs was a good thing for the pugilist.

The smear began with Timothy James, who runs Manny's official website and wrote about the story that Koncz was canned.  Marley felt it necessary to write numerous articles highlighting James's brief and not-very-earth-shattering criminal past, among other smears and accusations such as James being a steroid user and obsessive compulsive.  And why?  Well, you know why.  He was found guilty of the worst crime of all - not endorsing Top Rank-approved Michael Koncz.  The irony in all this of course is that writer Michael Marley himself spent years defending both innocent and guilty criminals as a criminal defense attorney...at least, until he was suspended briefly in 2004 before being readmitted and allowed to practice law again in New York.

Next up was Jose Castillo, a former boxing manager, and one among the new team of advisors brought in to advise Pacquiao.  According to Marley, the problem with this guy is one time, he sued a client  for unpaid fees and didn't win his case.  Okay. 

But wait, there's more.  Marley makes sure to remind us repeatedly that Castillo once managed boxer Edwin Valero, who went on to murder his wife and then himself, which I can only imagine is supposed to suggest that Castillo was  somehow responsible for that.  But then, I guess if Valero's manager is partly to blame, that would also mean that his promoter, Bob Arum, was also at fault too, right?  There goes that logic and reason again.

VisionQwest have been labeled as "bean counters," Manny's attorney Jeng Gacal is suggested to be trying to "feather his own nest" and is repeatedly tied to Manny's finances.  This, of course, would be a shocker, given that he is, you know, Manny's attorney and all.

Finally, even our own Ben Thompson has gotten dragged into the character assassinations.  In one article, Marley references Ben as running the "Mayweathercentric" FightHype.com and at least once more slams our site for, heaven forbid, reporting Mayweather news and writing Mayweather columns that aren't always negative.  Most disturbing of all though is Marley referencing Ben Thompson as "Cincinnati Ben."  The only other moniker Ben is known to go by is "The Hype", and given Marley's characterization as this site as "Mayweathercentric," as well as his fascination with digging up personal information on seemingly everyone not on Team Arum, one can only assume that his referencing of Ben's hometown suggests a high likelihood that Ben himself was under the crosshairs at some point of a smear campaign.

It's a crisis situation, folks.  Sound the alarm.  Manny Pacquiao has hired a team of professionals to handle his millions of dollars instead of a non-neutral and severely unqualified party within his camp.

But Bob Arums isn't worried, mind you.  As Michael Marley repeatedly tells us in his articles, Arum is vacationing in France, eating strawberries, and sipping wine on the French Riviera.  Because as we all know, there's no better way for a bigtime boxing promoter to relax than to feverishly call up his henchmen on the other side of the world to do spin control on a story that could potentially end up with him looking not so swell.

I'm shamelessly a sucker for drama and I have a feeling it's going to be a fun next couple of months.  A few weeks ago we had Manny's meeting with Nike bigwigs to structure a multi-million dollar endorsement deal that was suspiciously cancelled in the 11th hour because, as Arum claimed, "Manny wanted to spend more time with his family."  Now this.  I can't wait to see what's next.

I'll be satisfied with declaration of innocence on Fight Camp 360.  I'm hoping for a behind bars interview on 24/7.

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