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Friday, October 16, 2009

Manny Pacquiao coach Alex Ariza: Why I punched out Michael Koncz

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He couldn’t run and he couldn’t hide.

So, when Manny Pacquiao strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza finally exploded in the “Collision at Cooyesan (Hotel)” in Baguio, the controversial Canadian showed his true colors.

Koncz didn’t lay down. He stayed down, taking about five solid punches to the face from Ariza, a 35-year-old usually even-tempered native of Bogota, Colombia.

Koncz did not even try to defend himself from the sudden physical attack.

I spoke at length with Ariza, who is prepping for his fifth major bout working alongside Pacman and Coach Freddie Roach, by telephone. Ariza was standing in the hotel lobby Friday night.

Ariza explained to me why he felt compelled to punch Koncz out.

“We were upstairs in the living room of Manny’s suite,” Ariza said of the Friday morning explosion. “He snapped at me, he got sarcastic and I did something not in my character.

“I told him, ‘Get up out of the chair.’ He didn’t get up and I punched him. Three of Manny’s bodyguards pulled me off him.

“You can’t rationalize with him, you can’t be diplomatic,” Ariza said. “I’m here to do my job, to be there for Manny 24/7. Koncz really has no role except for errand boy.”

Ariza said he was angered when he learned that, despite being told personally by Pacquiao that he wanted him to work the corner on fight night against Miguel Cotto (Nov. 14) as a replacement for ex-Roach assistant and former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, that Koncz was blocking the move.

Ariza detailed the background to the fistic episode.

“On Thursday, I met with Manny and with (aide) Joe Ramos. They were going over tickets and credentials for the Cotto fight. Manny said he wanted me to work his corner. This is something Manny decided so I was, like, that’s cool.

“That’s a decision that only Manny ultimately makes.”

According to Ariza -- who got his start in boxing working for weight challenged Diego “Chico” Corrales -- sometime later in the day Koncz went to head trainer Roach and informed him that he would be in the corner and Ariza would not.”

Fast forward to Friday morning and Ariza asked Koncz to explain the seeming contradiction of Bossman Manny’s direct marching orders.

Koncz got red faced and snapped, “None of your f***ing business!”

That’s when Ariza rained a five-punch combination on Koncz’s head.

“I hit Koncz and he started screaming. That’s when the bodyguards moved in and grabbed me, pulled me off him.”

Is the Manny Pacquiao camp riddled with dissent, a house divided which cannot stand much longer?

Based on what I have learned, I’d say Team Pacquiao is united, united against the machinations and bad attitude and conduct of divisive agent and manager wanna-be Koncz.

More to follow from the Explosive Manny Pacquiao camp.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m10d16-Manny-Pacquiao-Coach-Alex-Ariza-I-had-to-punch-out-Michael-Koncz

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