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Adios, Pacquiao: Will More Big Fights Be Heading Out of America?

BY Michael Woods ON June 01, 2013
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Pacquiao-arrival-6-2-2013aUnited States boxing fans, we might be in trouble. If you're the type of American that actually likes to attend the biggest bouts, which by and large take place here in America, your option to do that might be off the table real soon. Not across the board, mind you, but with the news that Manny Pacquiao is fighting his next bout in Macau, and his promoter Bob Arum saying if that goes well, he might never again fight in the US, it has to make you wonder if a trend could be forming.

After all, you saw Sergio Martinez pack 'em in his native Argentina on April 27, when he fought and narrowly defeated Martin Murray. About 40,000 showed up for that card. Two of the games top five scrappers, guys who have done their business in America, are holding big bouts outside our confines, within a half a year. What gives?

Well, for PacMan (seen waving, not bye-bye to US fans, but to fans in Vegas before his fight with Tim Bradley, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) apparently, the operative word is "gives." As in, he doesn't care to hand over about 40% of his earnings to the taxman, which he does when he fights in the US. Manny is a fixture in Nevada, which doesn't tax personal income, and that means he doesn't get whacked like he would in many other states, which would take another wad of cash. (If Manny Pacquiao fought at Madison Square Garden, he'd need to pay almost 9% to the NY state, and almost 4% in New York City tax. That's why Arum always says, whenever I pester him, that we will see Pacquiao fight in NYC when Chris Christie has a 30 inch waist. I kid...Arum says it will never happen.)

But the January rise of the federal top bracket, to 39.6%, from 35%, seems to be a tipping point for Pacquiao. I haven't heard Manny himself delve into this matter, though I have heard Arum rail about it, in person. Me, I'm not sure I even grasp the difference of 4.6% when we're talking a gross of about $20 million, and semi-casual students of our tax system know full well that the top marginal tax rate has been MUCH higher throughout our history; Arum would have blown his stack if Pacquiao was fighting in 1944, when the top rate was 94%. That was in effect to pay for World War II, of course. And Arum has been at this long enough to recall that the top rate didn't drop below 70% until Ronald Reagan took office, so if this top rate looks glaring now, some perspective might be palliative.

I did broach the tax issue with Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach a while back. He said he feels Manny's pain, as he knows he will have to pay the piper when he makes money overseas and brings it back to the US. "I get taxed, I can't hide it," he said, chuckling. "But I think Bob is not just interested in taxes but in a new home for boxing. In Signapore (when Zou Shiming fought April 6) there was a lot more gambling than I ever saw in my life."

Regarding those "new homes." I do believe we will see more of this. As the world flattens out, as standards of living rise, as our brand of capitalism is embraced in more regions, as workers' wages rise in other nations, giving rise to better buying power for their burgeoning middle class, I suspect we will see more flight of fights.

It is for more economical minds than mine to hash out whether taking a fight to a place where, as in China, an average monthly wage can be like $700, will pay off in the end. After all, one can't charge the same for tickets or for pay-per-view over there. But...if Arum can charge $5 per pay-per-view, and enjoy the scale that the massive population could bring, he could earn the same, or maybe more, and have to share less with the government. Even he admits this is an experiment, by the way, though, and he isn't banking on the Manny-in-Macau show to establish a new paradigm when Pacman meets Brandon Rios in November.

Me, I'm not really crying a river over the thought of a shift to seeing more big fights outside the US, I guess, as I admit I enjoy the experience of watching bouts on a big arse screen in the comfort of my living room, with my DVR at my beckon call to allow me the luxury of rewinding. But this trend, or potential trend that bears watching, probably should alert us that boxing won't be immune to the effects of all these emerging markets. The athletes from all over the world have been catching up to Americans, challenging their supremacy in this arena and that. Economically, we are seeing some similar shifting of the plates.

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

First thing, Zou Chi Ming fought in Macau in April, not Singapore. And YUP! Da Manny will do fine in Macau, so high taxes and cheating of Yankland, GOODBYE!

The bout between Hulkquez and Big Foot/The Cali Cranium Crusher in October won't be fly. It is a shotfest. Neither fighter is no longer at his best. And why, should not be hard to guest. And with Da Manny, da Bobfather and HBO, Money May, Big Money O and Showtime are still in a heated BIG-MOOLA contest.

Rios-Pacquiao Bout will set all types of financial and PPV viewing records. And leave the Money May's beatdown of Canelo in the dust. You heard it here first. Holla!

amayseng says:

How can u blame him????!!!??

This government is a piece of **** thief.


We need a damn revolt.


This government is stealing from people. Stealing.


If I win the lottery or Radam can get me in the family business I'm out of here.

ali says:

Turning down 40 mil to fight Mayweather dumb move..Fighting in Macau smart move end of story

Radam G says:

Hehehe! That was funny, amayseng.

And you are totally wrong, SCLA Ali.

First of all, Money May was bullsyeting. He wasn't going to fight Da Manny, period! Besides Fam May settled out of court millions of dollars for those lies of Da Manny being on dat syet.

Money May was the dumb one for not fighting Da Manny for a purse up to a $100mil.

Da Manny is going to clean the money house in Macau. Don't believe the-hate-Da-Manny bullsyet! He will outdo Money May in moola in the next 18 months. Holla!

amayseng says:

Either way PAC and Floyd are doing fine.

This is a good move by PAC. USA is killing him.

I wouldn't blame Floyd for bailing either with such taxes.


Radam hook me up ill even go to cold *** Canada. Ha.

Radam G says:

Hey, SouthPaul, check in! And whad up with B-Sug? He hasn't spit in a minute. Maybe he has won a lottery and is counting his grand prize. May have to put him in the coldcase file with TSS superstars #1PacFan, Kuya Fe'Roz, Big Bobby C and not Doc Mortcola. Come back, Shane -- I mean you cats! Holla!

leon30001 says:

beck and call. Close though.

Grimm says:

Economy aside, the sport will flourish with superfights in new markets - gaining new fans, making new boxers. Thru history, boxing has always been a global phenomenon, but every sport needs its stars in order to create new ones. More superfights in Asia, South America and Africa - an emerging market, in parts - will result in more fighters from Asia, South America and Africa - and more fans. More fans, worldwide, ultimately means more money.

Ali would always have been big, but it was his adventures outside US that made him a truly global icon - a citizen of the world, worshipped all over the planet, recognized everywhere. Vegas might still be the main fixture, but anyone with dreams of being a worldwide celebrity has to, at some point, use that passport. Ward recently stated that a fighter that wants to be a superstar needs to make in in the US. That says about all of Wards narrow perspective. The world is a big place.

amayseng says:

This far I'm in favor of a fair tax.



It makes sense.


And there will be no IRS.


Which will save a lot of money.

DaveB says:

Mayweather can fight outside of the United States all he wants but he will still have to pay when the money comes back into the United States. So outside of the purses and the notoriety he well receive there is no tax advantage for him. He would have to be like the big corporations who have tax loops and send the money out of country in shady ways to avoid the tax man and then get to dodge the repatriation of the tax as they have been allowed to do in the past. One of the first steps to more equitable taxes would be to get corporations to pay their fair share. What money Pacquaio brings back to the US will be taxed likewise to Mayweather.

ali says:

Alot of great info Deepwater thanx..

Radam G says:

Money May would pay less in taxes for fighting overseas. And he'd keep more money because of how the U.S. tax rate works. And no way that Da Manny -- a none U.S. citizen -- pays U.S. taxes on money made outside of the USA and brought into the USA. I'm a multi-citizen who take and know every advantage in existence. Matter of fact, I'm getting out of Dodge USA this coming week, so that the large tax payment won't kick in on my arse.

Only poor, dumb and lazy-to-learn-the-tax-system people pay large taxes. Money May found that out the hard way when the IRS came knocking on his Big-Boy mansion's door. Holyfield and Tyson learned a bit late.

Believe in the science, not in the myths. Big money paying big taxes is for the stupid and the myths. Just as not getting every advantage you can in prizefighting is for the stupid and pridefighters and believers of the sweet myths, not the sweet science. Holla!

Radam G says:

Now Devon Alexander -- with his broke hand, weak game and wacky trainer -- is on the verge of signing to dance with Amir Khan for a PHAT purse in Dubai. Face it, people The U.S. dollar and taxes on it is BUNKUM! And things are a changing, as they always do.

The USA has lost it sting for being the place to fight. Sin City -- as the mecca of boxing -- is fading to dark, as the once mecca cities of boxing, the Windy City and the City that never sleep, have done.

Y'all better get on the good foot and off the broke leg, so you won't have to beg. Holla!

Radam G says:

It is a GO! More BIG FIGHTS WILL BE HEADING OUT OF U.S. AMERICA. Sign, sealed and delivered Alexander is dancing with Khan in Dubai on December 7. Big Money Oscar De la Hoya is no fool. This bout will do mean PPV payouts in Muslim Asia. Especially in Urdu parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and in Muslim China and the Middle East.

Like I said, it prizefighting over pridefighting except when the fighters are shot. What comes to mind is Hulkquez versus Big Foot/the Cali Cranium Crusher in October. They both suffered severe beatings and injuries in their last bouts and are shot. So they are staging a pridefighting shotfest for peanut purses. I'm calling a spade a spade. They can no longer compete at the super-elite grade.

Big-Foot Bambi's dogs are fudged up and he is concussed. And Hulkquez's right eye is damaged around the orbital and anterior chamber. And he has had plastic surgery on his snout. Da Manny busted it up and broke every bone in it. Those scribes in da know oughta come clean. Give up the whole fat on the haps and conditions of the Aztec hulk and the Cali t_ _ baby. Don't keep the truth so lean. Holla!

Matthew says:

@Deepwater. It's refreshing to see another boxing fan who knows about economics and the significance of Bretton Woods, not to mention Nixon's disastrous decision to take the U.S. completely off the gold standard. An educated bunch TSS Universe is.

Radam G says:

I told yall dat Deepwater was da MAN! He often say the same thing that I've said, or I will say the same that he've say. But all the vaporers, dimwits, nutcases and haters call me a racist.

I guess because the muthasuckas don't understand or know the U.S. Consititution. I'm a proud, proud multi-citizen of the U.S.A. just as many of the founding fathers were. Holla!

Radam G says:

Hehehe! That was funny as heck, but dead true. Holla!

amayseng says:

Check out the Fair Tax.


It's not too late for this country to make changed and become not only great but

FAIR again.

Today it is a corrupt disappointment.

amayseng says:

It's sad.

The fair tax allows everyone to pay the same tax percentage with everything u buy.


If your middle class u buy a Honda civic no problem for 21g.


If your upper class u have no problem buying a BMW for 40g.


It all makes sense.

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