LONG-TIME BUSINESS MANAGER READY TO PART WAYS WITH MANNY
MANILA, April 21, 2005 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Rod Nazario has finally broken his silence and in the process may have broken Manny Pacquiao’s heart, too.
Pacquiao’s burly business manager said the other night he is now ready to part ways with the boxer whom he helped carry to international stardom.
Nazario described how frustrated he’s been in his recent dealings with the prized fighter from Gen. Santos City. He also talked about his failure to help his ward break some bad habits.
Then he said he’s had enough of the "new" people who have taken control of Pacquiao. Pacquiao and Nazario linked arms more than 10 years ago when the former was still a struggling four-round knockout artist. Their partnership has turned out to be a blissful one, leading to big-money fights, including seven in the US, that made Pacquiao a big household name here and abroad.
But all good things come to an end.
In this case, it’s just about to happen.
Nazario has given Pacquiao, who just returned from the US yesterday morning, the right to decide, the right to choose between "him or them."
Pacquiao, according to someone close to him, wanted to rest first before even talking to Nazario who himself came back from the US only last Sunday after staying there for less than two months.
"If anyone among those people, including Freddie Roach (the American trainer), eh hindi niya kaya bitawan, I’ll be out," said Nazario in front of his lawyer Siegfrid Fortun, his close allies Moy Laines and Gerry Garcia, his sons Dodie and Rommel, and a handful mediamen.
Aside from Roach, Nazario was referring to Pacquiao’s new manager, Shelly Finkel, lawyers Keith Davidson and Nick Khan, PR consultant Winchell Campos and the close to a dozen "hangers-on" from Los Angeles.
This group, Nazario said, had "poisoned the mind of Pacquiao."
"And the 10 percent they promised to me, which is something like $120,000, give it to himself (Pacquiao). It’s for the education of his children. Para sa mga anak na niya ‘yun. I’m not saying he has no money. But I’m afraid he might lose it. Kawawa ang mga bata," Nazario said.
"Insurance na yan para sa mga anak niya. Doon niya ibigay. If he chooses them, then maybe after two years, na wala na silang mga kontrata at sabihin ni Manny na ako ulit, di ako ulit," added Nazario, who seriously doubts if Pacquiao could draw the said 10 percent from Finkel.
"Well, sana makuha niya. Tapos para sa mga anak na niya yun. But Manny told me, ‘Boss, pag hindi ko nakuha ito, pupunitin ko sa harap nila ang kontrata. Sabi nila sa akin, puwede daw ito punitin kung ayaw ko na sa kanila," said Nazario of his latest conversation with his ward.
Or his former ward.
"But what Manny doesn’t know is that in the US, puwede mo lang punitin ang isang kontrata three days after it was signed. You only have three days to decide whether it’s binding or not. I don’t think they explained that to him. You only have three days," Nazario explained.
As business manager, Nazario is entitled to 10 percent of Pacquiao’s $1.75 million purse for fighting Erik Morales. But it comes after the International Revenue Service has deducted $520,000 or 30 percent of the purse.
Finkel is entitled to another 10 percent, the lawyers five percent each, Roach 10 percent, the assistant trainer five percent, $20,000 to the conditioning coach, $5,000 to the accountant, five percent to the sparring partners, $11,000 for hotel and daily expenses, and an undisclosed amount to the PR consultant.
"I was told $10,000 daw ang nakuha ni Winchell Campos (a former sportswriter from Manila)," said Laines.
Of the total purse, Nazario said Pacquiao should be lucky to have brought home $600,000. What’s left of it, however, he couldn’t say.
The problem with these "new" people, Nazario added, is that they seemed to have provided all the distractions that may have contributed to Pacquiao’s loss to Morales at the MGM Grand last March 19.
"These people are poisoning the mind of Manny. Ang masama naman kay Manny, nakinig. These people whom he’d known only for weeks eh ako sampung taon. ‘Yon ang sinasama ng loob ko," said Nazario.
"They told Manny hindi siya bayad sa mga taxes niya in his six previous fights in the US. I have my documents here. It’s here," he said, showing mediamen a folder which contained photo copies of checks paid to the IRS, dating back to 2001 and amounting to close to $190,000.
"Eto ang mga cheke. Bayad siya sa mga taxes niya. Then ginulo nila ang isip ni Manny tungkol sa TV rights na kinuha ko daw lahat. Sa gloves, sa medical na nagkamali daw, sa MGM suite niya na kinuha daw ni Murad Muhammad, yung pay-per-view.
"Remember, all these came shortly before the fight. Parang may conspiracy talaga na matalo si Manny. But I’m not saying there is. Bahala na kayo mag-isip. Ako naa-awa kay Manny," said Nazario.
And Pacquiao’s bad habits?
"Madami eh. Pero ilang beses ko na pinag-sabihan. Huwag ka mag-sugal. Wala kang panalo sa casino," said Nazario.
Someone else close to Pacquiao, who was present during the dinner, said from Las Vegas, Pacquiao went on a shopping spree in Los Angeles, spending close to $20,000 for his family and friends.
"Ang masama, nag-casino sa Commerce. Ang dinig ko, natalo pa," he said. "Natalo ng $40,000 (or roughly P2.2 million)."
"Pumasok sa pyramid scam. Pati jueteng gusto pasukin, Sabi ko huwag iyan. Illegal yan at pag sumabit ka diyan, nakakahiya. At sabi ko, diyan sa jueteng, kung hindi ka handang pumatay, huwag kang sumama diyan. Pumasok din yata. But after a few weeks, siya na ang may utang," said Nazario.
"Putch Puyat (the billiards patron) called me up one time. ‘Rod, ano ba? Magkano ba binibigay mo sa bata mo? Eh pinagpi-piyestahan yan sa pool rooms ko.’ Sabi ko, Putch, katakot-takot na pangaral na binigay ko diyan. Kapag kaharap ko okay na. I cannot watch him 24 hours a day. So hanggang pangaral lang ako na parang ama niya.
"Eh pinagpi-piyestahan siya dito. Pag dumadating nga ang bulungan eh ‘ayan, bukas na ang opisina." Sabi ko sino nagsabi sa iyo? Si Bata Reyes daw kaya pinag-pigilan niya si Bata at si Django (Bustamante) na huwag mamumusta na kasama si Manny. ‘Huwag niyo tatalunin yan, kaibigan ko manager niyan," Nazario quoted Puyat as saying.
"If you think I’m lying, call Mr. Putch Puyat," he added.
Pacquiao has either won or lost millions in billiards and is into cock-fighting, too."
This is Manny Pacquiao-in the eyes of Rod Nazario.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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