Somerset Maugham’s famous description of Monaco lingers on.
The author labeled the principality on the Mediterranean “a sunny place for shady people.”
Perhaps this description can be applied to certain elements, hopefully those on the fringe, of the two hundred strong Manny Pacquiao entourage.
The guy who had the leanest entourage I’ve ever observed was former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, a thrift chap.
Once, he and I were on a flight from Reno to Los Angeles and he had just one guy with him. I asked Commander Vander (a nickname I, puff puff, created) who he was.
“That’s Mike Weaver, he’s my cousin, he don’t get paid,” Holyfield said.
Evidently, Michael Koncz and some others closest to Pacman have a fulltime job watching for those who with fast hands and no consciences.
(See Abac Cordero, a Pacman coverage mainstay for Philstar, on how Roy Chiongbian and his political pals will treat Manny a lot rougher than Joshing Clottey did in Dallas.)
(As I scribble this, our American politicans are staging a verbal brawl over the health care bill which makes the Clottey-Pacquiao undercard look even worse than it actually was. Decorum, people, decorum! You can see these fights live on CNN.)
The honest ones, including security chief Rob Peters and Pacman The Dog, know who they are. But apparently some scaliwags have infiltrated Manny Pacquiao’s Entourage (Pacland).
Perhaps this instructive quote from Don King epitomizes Pacman’s problems in his own “house.”
King once snapped at a light fingered fellow” “I don’t mind you stealing from me, I understand that. But never, never lie about it!”
Threre’s a mora lesson in there somewhere.
In Dallas, some low tech thiefs got nabbed using phony press credentials, made at Kinko’s knockoffs, and they used the good name of Dong Secuya’s Pacland/Philboxing sites.
When I worked for Don King, around the time of the bigger Mike Tyson fights, a fringe guy who attached himself wherever he could, was nailed by MGM Grand using made at Kinko’s credentials.
This idiot did not know or ingored the hologram inside the laminated and real credentials. They scanned his fakes and grabbed him at the ticket gate.
Talk about begging to get caught.
You want to discuss pillaging and plundering, the old Muhammad Ali Free Ring Circus broke all records.
Pacman, the Jack Russell terrier who goes where his master goes, leads this band on a run (Pacland)
Bob Arum could tell you stories, I could tell you stories, entourage staple Gene Kilroy could tell you tales of lowrollers, bunco artists and affiliated conmen who operated on the Ali periphery.
In those halcyon years for Ali, the “gold standard” in Vegas, mainly at boxing headquarters Caesars Palace, was the power of the pen.
In Vegas parlance, it was having the authority to get R,F,B gratis.
R,F,B stood for room, food and beverage but that wasn’t enough for the freeloaders.
I knew one cat who bought thousands of dollars of clothes at a men’s shop at the plush hotel-casino and somehow charged it to Ali’s bill. I didn’t see him around at the next fight.
One of the tricksters was sucking up some “courtesy champagne” one at the famed Galleria Bar, where few ladies had any Olympic eligibility (no profs allowed back then).
“Can I charge hookers to my tab?” the man asked the wizened bartender. “Couldn’t this needed companionship fall under either the R,F,B banner?”
I don’t know if his neurotic, erotic scheme worked but the guy endured in the entourage.
So there are skeezers and shysters surrounding Pacquiao, big surprise. It’s like finding out people are shooting craps in the casinos.
Where there’s great celebrity and money, there’s reptilian creatures who would rob a blind man, steal his white cane and then sell his seeing eye dog.
It happens in music, it happens in politics and it happens in boxing.
So far, at least, it seems charlatans around Pacman only use pens and sleight of hand.
Insofar as I’ve heard, no one in Pacman’s circle has fired live ammo at anyone outside a roller skating rink.
Manny’s minders have to work like Pinkerton, We Never Sleep.
As long as he is riding this tidal wave of success, there will be those who pilfer and plunder.
Not all the pirates are working the Somali coastline.