I have been a boxing fan since I was a kid. I grew up in the Tyson era and very much like Mike Tyson I studied all the great boxers of the past and loved watching documentaries on them (I still do). I think I found the sport fascinating because it was a sport I knew I could never do. I can shoot a basketball, catch a pass, swing a bat, but I had no desire of being hit in the face for fun. If you study boxing long enough, you learn a common theme is most boxers end up broke. It is a very high percentage and it doesn’t matter how much money they made, they seem to lose it all.
When I started covering boxing regularly as a Journalist in 2008, I knew all about Manny Pacquiao, but the general public was just getting a glimpse of him at that time. It wasn’t until he beat Oscar De La Hoya that he became a nationally known boxer. Even back then, I would listen to reporters talk about how freely he spent his money and he would become another statistic.
I’ll never forget during the Pacquiao vs. Hatton build up a reporter telling me he would bet his life savings that Pacquiao would go broke before Floyd Mayweather. Public perception was because of Mayweather’s flashy lifestyle he would be the one that would be in danger of losing his empire, but those in the know always said it would be Pacquiao first. Throughout the years you would hear stories about Pacquiao needing advances from Top Rank and being short on cash, but nothing like the story today where the Philippines government says he owes $50 million in back taxes and froze all his accounts.
If you are wondering how all this can be happening, SB Nation’s Brin-Jonathan Butler gives an extensive breakdown of how Pacquiao could have lost $200 million. Here are just some of the bullet points from that story.
- 20% goes to managers & promoters
- 10% goes to Freddie Roach.
- Alex Ariza before he was fired was paid a %.
- US & Philippines Taxes (that he may not have paid).
- Training Camp Expenses.
- The Entourage (trainers, assistants to the trainers, advisers, assistants to the advisers, cooks, dishwashers, car washers, publicists, gofers and security).
- The women (before he was “saved”)
- 100s of flight tickets and hotel accommodations for each fight.
- Spending money for the entourage.
- Gambling debts.
- Taxes on property holdings and expenses on luxury cars.
- His propensity to give away money away to anyway who asked for it.
- Financing his and his wife’s political career.
- The church to cleanse him of his sins.
- Multiple lawsuits.
- Lastly, he pays someone to say “no” to people who ask him for money.
You add all that up and you can lose $200 million fairly quickly. Hopefully, Pacquiao can get a hold on all of this before it is too late.
If you recall Mayweather was also in some financial trouble during his two-year retirement from boxing. The IRS was coming after him and his lifestyle had drained a good amount of his funds. He was able to reestablish himself with some brilliant business maneuvering (and boxing) to the point he is very well off and unless he totally just loses control should be set for life.
Pacquiao has the ability to do the same thing, but the clock is ticking.