Boxers are today getting some TMZ love, which is maybe not the sort of pub they want. Manny Pacquiao is featured today on the gossip site, and the story made me cringe, as it involved the dreaded IRS. TMZ says Pacman owes $18 million plus to Uncle Sam's collection agency, including over $8 million from 2009 purses and $4 million from 2010 purses. Now, I don't think anyone should assume anything here, as I suspect this thing will play out over a span of time, and there will likely be counter claims from people who handled Pacquiao's taxes here in the US. His promoter, Bob Arum, last week that Pacquiao has a man, Michael Koncz, who set up a company to pay his US bills. He didn't get into much specifics, but we can assume that includes payments to the IRS. Additionally, Arum said, he is duty bound to pay the IRS directly what Manny owes, 30%, and he did so. “They tried to make it like Manny never paid in the United States the money. Well, Manny's promoter who pays Manny has, under the law of the United States, the absolute and withhold and pay over to the IRS 30 percent of whatever we pay to Manny,” Arum said to ABS-CBNews.com.
So, we're not sure where we stand here. Does the $18 million plus constitute what the IRS says Manny owes beyond what has already been paid to them by the Filipino Congressman?
Just freestyling here, but I can imagine a Floyd Mayweather reading this and adjusting in his head, if he is indeed at all considering a fight with Pacman next September, how his bargaining power has been scaled up. If he senses that Manny NEEDS to fight, because he needs to pay the taxman, we can see him using that knowledge as leverage...
Another fighter, Andre Ward, got some buzz with an appearance on TMZ. The gist of it is this...Ward's lawyers filed a motion to get the fighter out of his deal with promoter Dan Goossen. TMZ says the court docs say Ward contends Goossen broke California labor law by signing him in 2004 through 2016...and that CA forbids such contracts to extend more than seven years. I admit to being slightly confused, as just last month, Ward cohort Antonio Leonard filed a suit against Goossen, alleging that terms of a verbal contract to share promotion duties weren't lived up to by Goossen. The confusion, for me--the furthest thing from a lawyer, of course--is that it would seem that Ward agreed to an extension of a deal with Goossen. The material I've seen published points to that happening in 2011. So, I don't see how Ward can try to escape a contract that he (presumably) signed? I am not aware of a CA labor law which says that a deal may not be extended beyond seven years, if both parties agree to it...
This June Ward fired the first salvo, when he asked the CA commission to void his contract with Goossen, because, he said, Goossen negotiated with HBO for a Ward fight without including some notable Team Ward crew. The commission KO'd Ward's request.
I do wonder what else there is here, which isn't being presented to the press. I can't see Goossen not being able to get any fight for Ward that the boxer might want. Ward actually, seemingly, has good flexibility being aligned with a promoter not caught up in the HBO-Golden Boy Cold War. So, why not just dance with the one that brung ya? Unless you know you have a megafight coming up, and simply can't stomach sharing the pot with an associate who you no longer want to share it with, for whatever reason? Or, you want to sign with someone else, someone who doesn't want to co-promote you, who wants to be able to steer the promotional ship solo?
Here's what I can say with more certainty. Andre Ward wants to jump ship from Dan Goossen, and is moving hell and high water and a bunch of lawyers in order to make that happen. My money is on this one being settled, with Ward having to pay a darned pretty penny to convince Goossen to relinquish his promotional rights. Or maybe not...as one of my lawyer friends pointed out, they can see Goossen digging deep into a foxhole on this issue. Ward is his moneyman, his gravymaker, his entry to getting his kids on the premium channels. He doesn't want to toss that relationship away so easily...But, that is pure guesswork. Maybe some of our other lawyer friends can weigh in on these two situations, and shed some light for us.
Follow Woods on Twitter.