Manny Pacquiao’s team has not handled his string of recent losses particularly well. Whereas the Filipino star accepted his back-to-back defeats with a certain amount of grace and dignity, his various representatives have been acting like a bunch of rank amateurs ever since last June. And because fighters rely so heavily on their advisors, Pacquiao’s team making one horrible decision after another has led to the former champ himself making some very questionable calls.
We don’t know for certain that Pacquiao and Marquez will fight this September, but it definitely looks that way. While the latter star continues to act as though he has little interest in a fifth bout, both Bob Arum and Freddie Roach strongly believe that it’s all just a ruse. They believe that he is just attempting to gain leverage for negotiations by pretending as though he isn’t interested in granting Pacquiao a rematch – which makes a certain amount of sense. Prior to Marquez insisting that he didn’t want to fight his Filipino arch rival again, his own promoter came out and said that they had agreed that the bout would happen.
If you accept the general premise that Pacquiao and Marquez will in fact fight this September, the next obvious point of interest then becomes: where? Where will they fight? Well, per Pacquiao’s team, while an exact venue has yet to be worked out, they know where the match won’t happen: America.
According to the former champ, taxes in the United States render fighting here pointless. (Never mind the fact that he is an ardent supporter of Sen. Harry Reid, who is a proponent of America’s higher taxes.)
"Manny can go back to Las Vegas and make $25 million, but how much of it will he end up with – $15 million?" Arum told Kevin Iole recently. "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."
As noted by Yahoo! Sports, though, it isn’t actually that simple. A pay-per-view (PPV) bout that takes place outside of the United States would generate about half the sales that an American one would. If you presuppose that a fifth fight between this pair does at least the same total as their assumed-to-be-unexciting fourth fight did, that’s at least 575,000 in potential PPV sales that are being left on the table.
The $2-$5 million difference between what Pacquiao would make in the U.S. and what he would make elsewhere could easily be made up by the free press and promotional opportunities he would have in America; the 575,000 in PPV sales is not as easily replaceable.
Which is exactly why Marquez is perfectly willing to fight in America, despite the mildly higher tax burden.
"Juan hasn't expressed the same concern about U.S. taxes that Manny has," Arum admitted.
Pacquiao’s oft-confused advisor, Michael Koncz, who regularly contradicts what the Filipino star’s other advisors say, echoed Arum’s ridiculous tax sentiments.
"We were talking only this morning about where and when and against who he would fight next," Koncz told Yahoo! Sports. "One thing we agreed on is that the taxes make Vegas a no-go. You're a fighter up there risking your life in the ring, so you have to maximize what you are going to get out of it.
"I know, Manny knows, that he only has a certain number of fights left, maybe one, maybe three. We don't know. So that means the priorities change a little bit at this point."
That idea sounds great in theory, but it makes little sense in reality. Pacquiao is a global star. His international appeal has been as great as anyone’s, despite the fact that he hasn’t fought outside of America since 2006. Why? Because the international audience will still dutifully follow a boxer who fights in the U.S. – as the noted PPV decline indicates. The same doesn’t hold true for American audiences when fighters schedule bouts elsewhere.
Holding Pacquiao-Marquez V anywhere besides the United States is a mistake. Here is to hoping the Filipino star realizes that before it’s too late.