Manny Pacquiao spent the better part of the last decade trying to find a balance between big pay days and fights that established him as one of the all time greats. By investing in things other than boxing and turning himself into a very marketable international star, the former eight division champ was able to select bouts that enhanced his legacy all the while consistently making the sort of money he was comfortable making.
Unfortunately, as of late, Pacquiao appears to have lost his sense of balance.
One would think that after suffering a particularly embarrassing loss, the Filipino champ would be intent on reaffirming himself as a great boxer, not squeezing every last penny out of fans. That hasn't been the case, though. Rather than putting his focus 110 percent into avenging this past December’s defeat, Pacquiao seems more concerned with which non-American venue would be best for his next fight. Never mind the fact that he hasn’t fought anywhere other than the United States in seven years – a minor increase in taxes is apparently reason enough to alter the game plan.
"He says that he doesn't want to fight in the United States because of the high taxes which I can hardly blame him,” Bob Arum said recently. “You know, there’s a limit to what these guys wanna pay, you know, that’s almost 40 percent of his purse going for taxes, that’s a lot.”
The difference between fighting in America and fighting overseas can be as much as $10 million. But that doesn’t take endorsements or pay-per-view (PPV) earnings into account. The actual total would actually be much smaller.
"Manny can go back to Las Vegas and make $25 million, but how much of it will he end up with – $15 million?" Arum added.
"If he goes to Macau, perhaps his purse will only be $20 million, but he will get to keep it all, so he will be better off.”
There are legitimate questions regarding how accurate those numbers even are, but let’s assume they’re correct. After 18 years in this business, is Pacquiao really so hard up for cash that he would flee the country that has hosted him for seven years just to pick up an extra $5 million? Why is he the only big time boxer on the planet who seems to have this tax concern?
Probably because others aren’t willing to prioritize cash over where they are comfortable with fighting at this stage in their careers.
There is a reason why Pacquiao has fought his 14 matches in America. The former champ would be wise to remember that.