A highly anticipated rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley is slated for this coming Saturday at Las Vegas' MGM Grand. Pacquiao has racked up $300 million in career earnings in the ring, but questionable decisions away from it and mismanaged funds have his current net worth listed at $100 million, per CelebrityNetWorth.com.
This is another opportunity for a massive payday for Pacquiao, which should come in handy considering he is under investigation for unpaid taxes. The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue claims Pacquiao owes $50 million in back taxes as of July 2013, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). TMZ Sports reported this past December that he still needed to pay more than $18 million in U.S. taxes.
Whether the charges in his native Philippines are true or not will be revealed eventually, but at least Pacquiao is getting another shot to prove he's still a capable, top-tier pay-per-view boxing draw. Not long ago, it seemed his future in the ring was in jeopardy and that he had fallen as an all-time great.
Pac-Man's first of two back-to-back losses came at the hands of Bradley in a controversial split decision June 9, 2012. The WBO highlighted Pacquiao's punching stats from the initial clash:
That defeat was followed by a loss to archrival Juan Manuel Marquez in which Pacquiao was knocked out. It put his career in doubt. However, Pacquiao responded by roaring to a dominant victory over Brandon Rios in his last bout, giving him much-needed momentum entering his second showdown with Bradley.
All indications are that the formidable southpaw will be ready to roll Saturday, as Pacquiao provided an encouraging update on Twitter about his preparation:
The alleviation of financial burdens and a fresh outlook on life have seen Pacquiao drop a lot of his vices—including a costly gambling addiction—and surround himself with a stronger, more affable support system.
Pacquiao is slated to receive a guaranteed $20 million for this fight, compared to the $26 million he was given in his previous loss to Bradley, per Ring TV's Lem Satterfield. There's still a burden of proof that he needs to bear, and he must beat Bradley convincingly to set up even higher stakes in his next appearance.
Some felt Pacquiao might have lost the killer instinct that made him so explosive in the ring when he turned to religion and such. Now, it seems the congressman is poised for vengeance versus Bradley to continue his recent resurgence and extend his career longer than expected.
The clash of styles in this WBO welterweight title bout will be fascinating to see. It will be a big win for Pacquiao in terms of finances, but his tactics between the ropes should also allow him to keep bolstering his profile. Many feel Pacquiao beat Bradley the first time around, which has to put a lot of pressure on the American underdog to live up to the hype after a perceived undeserving win. That's especially so since Bradley enters with an unblemished 31-0 record, while Pacquiao is 55-5-2.
With his lightning-quick agility and lateral quickness and devastating punch combinations, Pacquiao has a mix of speed and force that is matched by few, if any, in the world. Bradley tends to be more aggressive and won't protect himself as well to get off big, punishing body blows at the expense of absorbing punishment.
That should lead to Pacquiao furthering himself and his legacy as a boxer, but it will also aid his efforts to keep racking up endorsement deals and distancing his tangle with financial turmoil.