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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson

No US tax issue for Manny

By Joaquin Henson
03 Oct 2018

WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao won’t be held up by the IRS if he decides to fight again in the US and if there’s an outstanding tax obligation, he’ll take care of it after consulting with his accountants.

That’s the assurance of Las Vegas-based international boxing matchmaker Sean Gibbons who’s involved in making arrangements for Pacquiao’s next fight with MP Promotions’ Joe Ramos and lawyer Tom Falgui. At the moment, nothing is final on Pacquiao’s succeeding bout. Undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. recently said he’s returning to the ring in December and pointing a finger at Pacquiao during a chance meeting at the Urban Japan electronic music festival in Tokyo, told the Senator he would be “easy work” in a rematch.

Mayweather has since changed his tune and said he would be involved in an event in Tokyo in December. It wasn’t clear if the event would be a fight featuring Mayweather. Word from Mayweather’s camp has leaked that he’ll do a tune-up before taking on Pacquiao. Mayweather has said he wants Pacquiao’s WBA belt and there will be no more shoulder excuses when they meet again. In their first bout in 2015, Pacquiao hurt his shoulder in the fourth round and fought the rest of the way with one good arm, eventually losing on points. The speculation is Pacquiao would’ve won if not for the injury because even with a bad shoulder, he gave Mayweather plenty of trouble and some writers at ringside even had the Filipino ahead at the final bell.

There is talk that Pacquiao will be ready to fight on Jan. 19 in Las Vegas. No opponent has been confirmed but the rumor is he may take on a fighter in Mayweather’s stable. Adrien Broner, 29, is often mentioned as a possible opponent. Broner was recently signed to a five-fight $50 Million deal by Mayweather after rejecting British promoter Eddie Hearn’s offer of $6.75 Million for three bouts. Broner had previously turned down a five-year $40 Million offer from Jay-Z and a $12.5 Million, seven-fight deal with HBO.

Broner is a former WBO superfeatherweight, WBC lightweight, WBA lightwelterweight and WBC welterweight champion with a record of 33-3-1, with 24 KOs. He’s coming off a majority draw with Jessie Vargas in Brooklyn last April. The only fighter who has decked Broner is Argentina’s Marcos Maidana who did it twice in winning a unanimous decision in San Antonio in 2013. Some of Broner’s victims were Paul Malignaggi, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Antonio DeMarco, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Emmanuel Taylor and John Molina, Jr.

“If the Senator has a pending tax issue with the IRS, he’ll settle it once his accountants and lawyers go through the numbers,” said Gibbons. “Manny is a Senator and no Senator will run away from any tax obligation. If there’s an outstanding obligation, I see no problem in the Senator fighting in the US and settling whatever is pending. It’s not an impediment.”

English fighter Amir Khan has reportedly been trying to reach out to Pacquiao’s associates, hoping to seal a deal. Khan, 31, scored a unanimous 12-round decision over Samuel Vargas in Birmingham last month but had to get off the canvas to book the win. Another option for Khan is to battle former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, an Englishman. But Khan said he prefers to face Pacquiao.

Promoter Don King has also attempted to contact Pacquiao’s camp, offering to make a deal. Since Pacquiao wrested the WBA welterweight crown from Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur last July, he’s been a hot ticket and in major demand.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said now that Pacquiao’s a free agent, he can negotiate any deal he wants. “Good luck to him,” said Arum. “I think if Manny and Mayweather fight again, it will still draw attention from fans but not like in their first fight. If they do half of what they did before, it’ll still be substantial. They can call it the fight of the ages. As for Top Rank, we won’t be involved in it. We’ve got our hands full with all the shows we do, something like an average of over two shows a month. We’re doing work with younger fighters. It’s a new era of boxing with technology and digital platforms. It’s a new way of doing business. With ESPN+, the subscriber base is up to 1.25 million and growing. We’re way ahead of Hearn.”

Arum said he’s not sure how Pacquiao will do in a US comeback. “For two reasons,” he said. “One, he’s got a tax problem. And two, people still remember his gay comments. Manny won’t be easy to promote. He did well in K. L. but Maytthyse wasn't the same fighter he once was. I don’t know what kind of pay-per-view numbers he can still generate. But I’ve got an idea for him. Why doesn’t Manny go down to 140 pounds and fight Jose Ramirez? I think that fight would be interesting.” Ramirez, 26, has a 23-0 record, with 16 KOs and is the reigning WBC superlightweight titlist.

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