Manny Pacquiao may win his fight Saturday night against Timothy Bradley. Or he may lose. But there is one guaranteed winner in the pay-per-view boxing spectacular that takes place at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The Internal Revenue Service.
Actually, make that two guaranteed winners because the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Manny Pacquiao’s home country of the Philippines would also like a piece of the $20 million Pacquiao is guaranteed for the single boxing match. Between the two of them, Manny Pacquiao may owe as much as $50 million in unpaid taxes.
By some reports, $18 million of that will go to the U.S. IRS, but Pacquiao’s handlers, while admitting that the 35 year old boxing champ, who is also a movie star as well as a congressman in his home nation, owes a considerable sum to the taxman, say that the amount is not nearly as overwhelming as has been reported.
“Manny’s tax problems resulted from accounting glitches and tax credit issues,” said boxing promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank promotional company has handled Pacquiao’s fights for the past several years. “Manny has great investments and could retire tomorrow and live very comfortably for the rest of his life.”
Pacquiao has reportedly earned about $300 million from boxing in his 62-fight career.
“In America, there’s no issue of tax evasion or nothing,” said Pacquiao’s close adviser Michael Koncz. “The major issues here are about four categories of tax deductions. We have a tremendous accounting team working for us. We have great tax lawyers working for us.”
Koncz said that after Manny Pacquiao collects his $20 million purse — which should increase once pay-per-view revenues are tabulated — the IRS will take a bite, but not an $18 million bite.
“I estimate that we’re going to owe a few million when this is over, but that’s not a shock to us,” said Koncz. “Is it going to be the $18 million that somebody put out there? Absolutely not.”
But the Manny Pacquiao tax issues are giving plenty of ammunition to his opponents, both present and (possibly) future.
The fighter who will face Manny Pacquiao Saturday, 30 year old Timothy Bradley, who won a highly controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao in 2012, believes that the tax issues give him an advantage over Pacquiao.
“Manny now fights for the money,” said the fighter whose nickname is “Desert Storm.” “I have the hunger to win.”
And Floyd Mayweather, the undefeated champ who has been on-again, off-again in negotiations with Pacquiao for several years now, has had plenty of fun with the Manny Pacquiao financial struggles.
“He don’t need to be focused on Floyd Mayweather,” said Mayweather, in one of his signature taunts of Manny Pacquiao. “He need to be focused on that tax business.”