Adviser Talks Lump on Pacquiao's Wrist, Denies Trying to Fire Ariza
The adviser of WBO welterweight (147 pounds) champion, Manny Pacquiao, has denied trying to have Alex Ariza removed as the eight-division champion's strength coach, contradicting what Ariza told FanHouse during a recent interview.
An assistant to Pacquiao's five-time Trainer of the Year, Freddie Roach, Ariza told FanHouse that rumors of his firing by eight-division titlist Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) "were started by Michael Koncz," adding, "Manny said that he never said anything" about his removal to him, personally.
"Freddie had already given me the heads-up that, 'Alex, something is rotten in Denmark. Michael's probably trying to get you fired again,'" said Ariza, on Wednesday.
"I would just say that it was brought to my attention that the rumors started with Michael Koncz," said Ariza. "The information, from what was told to me tonight, was that it came from Michael Koncz."
But Koncz countered Ariza's assertions during an interview with Michael Marley of BoxingScene.com.
"That is absolutely absurd. I find it absolutely amazing that people come up with these unfounded charges and allegations. It's not that I'm concerned about me or my own reputation, because I am not. But Manny is very intelligent. Manny is the boss," said Koncz.
"What offends me is that these type of stories just insult Manny's intelligence. I find it amazing that some people think I have so much power," said Koncz. "As far as Alex goes, I've got no problem with him or his work. As far as I know, Alex is on Manny's team, and that's a situation that would involve Manny and Freddie and not me. I don't get into any discussions about what Alex does."
On Thursday, Koncz was in attendance with Ariza and Pacquiao during a press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where 300 or so members of the media greeted Pacquiao and three-division, five-time champion Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), his May 7 opponent for a Showtime pay per view televised defense of his WBO belt.
The Los Angeles-based event was the first stop in a four-city promotional tour by Top Rank Promotions that will include appearances in Las Vegas, New York, and, Washington, D.C., respectively, on Saturday, Monday, and, Tuesday.
During the press conference, Pacquiao was seen with a "golf ball sized lump" on the right hand, close to his wrist, according to Marley.
"It's really nothing new, the lump. We've had it checked out, we've had it looked at by doctors. It's not a cyst, but it's like a cyst," said Koncz. "Manny has no pain associated with it. It's been there before, and there are no side effects to it."