Boxing Photographer Allegedly Assaulted for Snapping a Fallen Pacquiao

Well-known boxing photographer Al Bello says he was assaulted by boxer Manny Pacquiao’s team as he was photographing the fallen boxer after Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez this past Saturday.

After the knockout blow, the Getty Images photographer climbed up onto the MGM Grand Garden ring to photograph what was unfolding from a closer vantage point.

Bello claims that two key members of Team Pacquiao, adviser Michael Koncz and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, then began to punch and kick him as he was trying to snap the shots (shown above).

The photographer jumped off the stage to avoid confrontation, but Fernandez (who was on the ground crying when he noticed Bello) stepped through the ropes to pursue him. Luckily for Bello, Fernandez was held back.

Bello tells Yahoo Sports that he narrowly avoided serious injury:

Had I not gotten off the ring, I have no doubt the two of them would have beaten the [expletive] out of me and I might have been seriously hurt […] Nobody likes [photographing a knocked-out boxer], but I was where I was credentialed to be and I was trying to do my job, which is to document the event. It’s no different than the war photographers who have to shoot what is happening on a battlefield. Nobody wants to do that, but you have to document the history.

The confrontation started after Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach asked Bello not to photograph the facedown Pacquiao within earshot of Koncz and Fernandez. When Bello disregarded the request — he was tasked with photographing the fight, after all — the two team members were not pleased. Roach later apologized for trying to hinder the photographer.

The alleged assault was apparently caught on camera. Fellow boxing photographer Chris Cozzone snapped a series of photographs showing what occurred:

The Nevada Athletic Commission is saying that it will review the incident and consider possible punishments against the two Team Pacquiao members. Instead of criminal charges against the men or a settlement, Bello says he simply wants an apology.

(via Yahoo Sports)

P.S. Last month we featured a different photo of the two boxers in a behind-the-scenes video of a promotional shoot for the fight.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Joshua!

Image credits: Photographs by Al Bello/Getty Images and Chris Cozzone

  • CmdrAdobo

    Doesnt show he was assaulted. Maybe pac team is protecting Manny.

  • Zach

    How do you not get “assault” out of this? In this case, you can clearly see offensive contact in the first of the four images. Also, the fact that both of the members that are alleged with the attack are not putting forth a statement about this. If it was protection, they would have no problem doing so…

  • geeves

    Assault can be the expectation of violence of a victim (can be words, gestures, threats, etc.). Battery is the actual act of force / violence involving physical contact.

  • Abiel Abuy

    Not sure if he was assaulted because he was taking photos of Pacquiao, remember there could have been at least a hundred sports photogs in the fight and if their reason to assault someone because they’re taking photos of the knocked out Pacquiao then I’m not buying it. That means they’ve assaulted all the other photogs as well?

  • guest

    I think you just answered your own question when you stated:
    “you can clearly see offensive contact in the first of the four images.”

    Technically, any unwanted physical contact can be considered “assault”. The local jurisdiction would be the determining factor of the extent of the assault, but it sounds like this will probably be settled outside the court system with sanctions or penalties on the team members.

  • Zach

    I was asking how CmdrAdobo doesn’t see assault in this. Me stating “you can clearly see offensive contact in the first of the four images” was telling him why this would be considered assault. So yes, in giving an example of why this is assault, I did answer my own question…that was the point.

  • original pinoy hater

    bubuy is a true friend ♥

  • Egee

    Well, he has the credential to do his job and document the event OUTSIDE of the ring, not INSIDE of the ring. For him to jump inside of the ring to get his scoop on the fallen Pacquiao also shows a lot of his character and not playing by the rules as set to be followed. Next time, bring a better lens to capture the right picture.

  • PinoyPhotog08

    A shame to the pinoys…