Manny Pacquiao's next fight may be with the United States government, as reports have surfaced that the Filipino boxer owes the IRS more than $18 million in back federal income taxes.
According to official documents obtained by TMZ, Pacquiao failed to pay income tax on his earnings from 2006 to 2010, with his official debt totaling $18,313,668.79. The 34-year-old welterweight, who turns 35 on Dec. 17, spent much of his rise to prominence fighting overseas but began gravitating toward large United States-based spectacles as his international fame rose.
Pacquiao fought 12 times from 2006 to 2010, all but one of which were in the United States. Three of those bouts took place in Texas, which does not have a state income tax, but he would still be subject to federal income tax.
TMZ had the year-by-year breakdown on the individual totals Pacquiao owes the IRS:
The increases in amount owed seem to coincide with Pacquiao's rise to arguably the most popular boxer in the world. In 2008, he defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, knocked out David Diaz and stopped Oscar De La Hoya in the eighth round. A year later, he scored high-profile knockouts of Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.
It's unclear whether TMZ's numbers are from the year when Pacquiao owed the government money—remember, you typically pay taxes for the previous year—but considering his huge paydays for fights like the De La Hoya bout, it's easy to surmise those make up a majority of his tax debt.
This is just the latest financial blow for Pacquiao, who has been known to have difficulty just making ends meet despite making tens of millions of dollars during his career. In November, the Associated Press reported via the New York Post that Pacquiao had to borrow money to pay for supplies for typhoon relief in the Philippines.
Pacquiao, who claims residence in his home country and serves as a congressman, owes the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue $50 million. Because the debt has gone unpaid, Pacquiao and his wife have seen their assets frozen and a lien placed on his property. In appealing to the government to unfreeze his bank accounts and erase his debt, Pacquiao claimed to have paid his taxes in the U.S.—and thus is exempt via a treaty between the two countries.
“I appeal to them to remove the garnishment so that I can move and pay for my staff’s salaries,” Pacquiao said. “I am not a criminal or a thief.”
Promoter Bob Arum has said Pacquiao may never fight in the United States due to his tax burden. His last bout, a unanimous-decision win against Brandon Rios in November, was held in Macau, China.
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