Indianapolis Fight Sports Examiner
Just when the weather forecast over Pacland yielded rainbows and sunshines, Manny Pacquiao's drama-filled training camp in Baguio City, Philippines just provided fans with another reality show-type plot twist.
Fortunately for Pacquiao fans, almost none of it has anything to do with the Pac Man's training itself as the Filipino boxing icon is looking more and more like the little monster truck that ran over Britain's favorite fistic hero Ricky Hatton in May.
Reports coming from Baguio have given fans reason to be relieved this week as Pacquiao bloodied and dominated new sparring partner Jose Luis Castillo, whom a lot of people believe beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. when they initially squared off in the ring.
And recently, the first knockdowns of Pacquiao's current camp were logged-in Thursday as the Pac Man twice floored the much bigger and stronger, undefeated 154-pound former Golden Gloves champ from Ohio, Shawn Porter.
But I guess a week in Pacland without drama is like a week for a Filipino with no rice- It's just part of the diet. And the most recent drama comes from a consistent source in Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz. This time around, a rather lower-key member of Pacquiao's crew, strength coach Alex Ariza participated in the Team Pacquiao "tele-novela" as BoxingScene's Ronnie Nathanielsz reported that Ariza "beat up" Koncz in an altercation that involved Koncz's meddling with fight credential assignments. It was said that Koncz was trying to take over Ariza's spot in Pacquiao's corner come fight night. The other two people that have been in Pacquiao's corner are trainers Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez.
When approached about the incident, Pacquiao allegedly had no reaction about the matter, which only showed that none of the drama going on around his camp have any effect on his focus and training. If anything, it probably helps in the sense that it generates a lot of hype for his fight without him having to do anything. Koncz on the other hand has denied the report.
One has to wonder however, with the long list of Koncz's wrongdoings, why Pacquiao still chooses to keep his Canadian liaison/ assistant around? And with the constant trumpeting of scribes like my buddies here at the Examiner Michael Marley and Brad Cooney that have gotten the majority of Pacquiao's fans rallying for Koncz's banishment, what role does Koncz really play in Pacquiao's team?
Personally for me, it's nothing but kids stuck in an isolated shack in the middle of summer camp bored out of their wits. Quite entertaining really. I mean think about it... grown men fighting like kids. You can only do karaoke, chess, basketball and all these other forms of recreation during the down times of training for so long. As long as it does not affect the champ and he keeps knocking people out, heck his team can even do a Royal Rumble while they're at it. If Pacquiao loses to Cotto however, you already know who will be the first to go... you know?!