Manny Pacquiao may be one of the greatest boxers who ever laced up a pair of gloves but his exploits inside in the ring are rivaled only by his cavalier attitude towards his business dealings outside it.
In short, he's terrible with money.
That's why it's no surprise, then, that he would leave the not-so friendly confines of Las Vegas, Nevada, for his fight against Brandon Rios later on this evening (Sat., Nov. 23, 2013) at The Venetian in Macau, China. Why?
Because taxes are far more lenient there.
...Pacquiao choosing to take his talents to China, where he is hugely popular and, more importantly, the top marginal tax rate is only 12 percent. Because Pacquiao is neither a U.S. resident nor a citizen, he will not pay U.S. tax on any money earned from the fight, allowing him to pocket an extra 28 percent of the purse.
In simple terms, if Pacquiao rakes in $25 million from the Rios fight, holding the match in China will allow him to walk away with $22 million, while a Vegas bout would have left him with only $15 million.
Pacquiao is set to rake in $18 million for tonight, so you can do the math on that and see exactly why he decided to head across the world for his next showcase.
Earlier this year, ESPN went into detail on how dire "Pacman's" financial situation is:
"From what I can gather, Manny really can't be bothered with the minutiae of finance and keeping track of all his funds," said Lerner, who has known Pacquiao since he was a six-round fighter. "After years of spending like there was no tomorrow, it appears that tomorrow has come and Manny is in need of cash. He still has a lot of upkeep on his properties and businesses, and many people are relying on him to further their political careers. Manny has a hard time saying no, and people everywhere still constantly besiege him for help."
Although Pacquiao has apparently shed the hard-core gamblers who once surrounded him, a new group is draining the coffers. Pastors and other religious types have thoroughly ingratiated themselves, and Manny is said to have given heaps of cash for ministries and infrastructure projects related to their churches. He also foots the bill for the printing of thousands of bibles and the holding of massive religious rallies in expensive stadiums.
Yet Pacquiao's biggest single expense is his political career. He spent an estimated $6.6 million on his successful 2010 campaign to become the congressional representative of the district of Sarangani. In the latest election, which closed last week, Manny ran unopposed and consequently spent considerably less. Even so, wife Jinkee and brother Rogelio also ran for office (Jinkee won; Rogelio lost), and it cost Pacquiao approximately $2 million to finance the campaigns.
"Manny has clearly lost the zeal for boxing that he once had," Lerner said. "Before, he used to fight for the love of fighting, and the money seemed secondary. Now he is obviously fighting for only one reason: money."
Perhaps he is just fighting for money and maybe that has contributed to his losing his last two fights, a disputed decision to Timothy Bradley and a crushing knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.
Here's to hoping his head is in the game for Rios and we an exciting fight awaits.
Be sure to follow along with MMAmania.com's LIVE coverage of "Pacquiao vs. Rios" on HBO pay-per-view (PPV) by clicking here.