Manny Pacquiao’s biggest threat is not Floyd Mayweather. No, it appears the Filipino faces a titanic battle to keep himself afloat financially. Richard Barrett discusses.
While some may argue that Manny Pacquiao is one of a kind, an outlier in big time boxing, the Filipino pugilist shares a certain unwanted characteristic with most of his peers; a tendency to splash the cash.
Brin Jonathan-Butler wrote that “boxing’s not so well kept dirty secret is that, financially, most fighters can never stop (boxing)”.
Sadly, this rings true when it comes to Manny Pacquiao. Despite career earnings nearing $200 million and being named as the world’s 6th highest paid sportsman by Forbes in 2009, Pacman finds himself in a precarious position financially. Nearing the end of an illustrious career, retirement is not an option for the fighter. He must fight to survive and milk what’s left of the cash cow that accompanies his talents.
It is expected that the eagerly anticipated superfight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will finally take place in May, meaning Pacquiao can expect a windfall to fill the black hole in his bank account.
But where has Manny’s money gone?
“All those who are around me are the bridge to my success, so they are all important.” – Manny Pacquiao.
‘Team Pacquiao’, his entourage, accounts for a large part of the fighter’s outgoings. An article in the New York Times from 2010 stated the entourage “consists of trainers, assistants to the trainers, advisers, assistants to the advisers, cooks, dishwashers, car washers, publicists, gofers and security.”
Brin Jonathan-Butler noted that Pacquiao also “spent hundreds of thousands of dollars flying his entourage to Las Vegas (for his fight), buying hundreds of tickets, covering hotel rooms, and providing spending money.” It’s clear that his band of merry men are riding the Pacman Express all the way to the bank.
If Pacquiao was to earn $40 million from the Mayweather fight, his contract would be split as follows:
– 20% to his manager
– 10% to his trainer Freddie Roach
– 1-5% for strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune
Fortune, in this case, does not favour the brave.
Shockingly bad pun aside, if Fortune was to take five percent, this would leave Pacquiao with 65% of the earnings, a total of $26 million before tax comes into play. Training camp expenses and the aforementioned ‘Team Pacquiao’ would also dent his earnings.
It has been said that Pacquiao’s biggest flaw is that he wants to please everybody. Unsurprisingly, this has an effect on his finances. Pacquiao sends a large amount of money in aid back to the Philippines, and dedicated his fight with Brandon Rios to those struggling in the aftermath of the horrendous Typhoon Haiyan.
“I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”
Pacquiao is a national hero in his homeland and hopes to one day run for President. He has already been voted to public office, another financial burden for the congressman.
Behind the hooks and jabs, there appears to be a side to Manny Pacquiao that is more threatening to his welfare than stepping into the ring with trained fighters; his gambling. It is believed Pacquiao has haemorrhaged millions of dollars through his addiction, and needs the Mayweather fight to happen.
Jinkee, Pacquiao’s wife and mother of his five kids, is also no stranger to spending and there are talks of a presidential campaign in the future for the current vice governor of Sarangani in the Philippines.
SB Nation spoke to filmmaker Leon Gast who spent time recording a documentary on Pacquiao. He was insistent that Pacquiao’s burn rate was alarming. In addition to gambling, he said the fighter was providing huge sums of money to the Church.
“You have no idea what kind of tithe is going their way now that he’s tried to clean up his act. Everybody’s hand is out. Manny can’t say no to anyone. The entourage. The charities. Lawsuits. Taxes. The fucking presidential run in the Philippines is coming up. Jesus. All those taxes on his real estate in Los Angeles and everything back in the Philippines. He has staff hired just to say no to people who come at him with open hands. Why do you think he has to keep borrowing those advances from Bob Arum? Even with all those massive pay-per-view paydays and he’s borrowing money? Boxing is just such a … it’s a wretched sport.”
It is believed that boxing promoter Bob Arum has even had to loan money to his star fighter in the form of advance payments for his fights, such is the measure of Pacquiao’s financial muddle.
A family of seven isn’t cheap to maintain and Pacquiao’s love of expensive cars, his yacht, and helicopter rack up the expenses.
Pacquiao needs the Mayweather fight. How long more can the Mexicutioner, named after his tendency to topple Mexican fighters, maintain this standard of living? With no Mayweather, there’s no exorbitant payday for the collective group that is Manny Pacquiao.
His intention is to retire from the ring in 2016, before lining up a run at the Filipino presidency. If Pacquiao, 36, wants to continue with his lavish ways, don’t be surprised to see him delay his date with the presidential polling stations and fight well into his forties, like so many troubled fighters before him.
Earn and burn, welcome to the world of Manny Pacquiao.
Richard Barrett, Pundit Arena.