Pacquiao Watch: Broke or not, there’s more than meets the eye

The reported termination of the services of VisionQwest Resource Group as retainer of Rep. Manny Pacquiao for his financial interests in the US appears to be one of the many impulsive moves of the Filipino boxing champion that continue to puzzle many of his observers.

Pacquiao hired the US-based financial advisor group to straighten out his accounts and business interests in the United States.  It was not really clear if the contract includes Pacquiao’s business and other financial interests in the Philippines.

It immediately caused ruckus inside Team Pacquiao as long-time advisor and man-Friday Mike Koncz was widely reported to have been stripped of his function as chief financial advisor of the Filipino multi-millionaire athlete.

Any reputable accounting and financial advisor firm would like to start working with its client at ground zero – on a clear cut balance sheet.  It can only be done by digging into Pacquiao’s past financial records and business contracts.

After all, it is to the best interest of both the principal and the service provider that they begin with a clean sheet.

An audit, to begin with, is certainly in order once the two agreed on the parameters of the service contract.

This may have ruffled the feathers of those whose past dealings with Pacquiao may be unearthed or exposed.

Boxing, as they say, is the red light district of sports.  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to be able to understand that wheeling and dealing in professional boxing not only involves game-fixing and one-sided matches, it also extends to the financial side of fight contracts – verbal or written or both.

Pacquiao began receiving, officially, million dollar purses when he fought Erik Morales in a rematch in January 2006.

Since then, his fight purses have been on the up, topping a reported US$20 million guaranteed prize for fighting Shane Mosley.

Counting the upsides from all his previous fights since 2006 (pay per view receipts, TV rights, live gate proceeds, fight merchandise, commercial endorsements, etc), Pacquiao should have already accumulated well over US$150 million in gross earnings.

By Filipino standards, he should be a billionaire as his latest statement of assets and liabilities (SAL) filed before the House of Representative indicated he is at the moment.

But Pacquiao coach Freddie Roach was reported to have said his ward is now broke  and he has to continue fighting. (!/ChasinMoPaper)

Until an audit of Pacquiao’s financial records is made public, nobody will ever know if Roach was telling something many already suspect to be the case.

Pacquiao’s generosity, sometimes to a fault, has been widely reported and his ever growing entourage whenever he travels here and abroad has not escaped the attention of the press and ordinary observers.

But his biggest expenditures may be in politics where he spent huge amounts of his personal money in two consecutive election campaigns, 2007 and 2010.

If reports and media accounts are to be believed, Pacquiao spent well over P500 million (US$10 million) in these elections.

That figure should hardly put a dent on his gross earnings but one must also take into account the taxes he had to pay with the US Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (Philippines) which ate up considerable percentages of his income.

Added to that are his high-flying lifestyle and high maintenance costs that go along with it.

That Pacquiao continues to fight despite having already secured his dream of becoming a member of the House of Representative may give some credence to Roach’s statement that he is now broke.  Maybe not dirt poor broke but he could be headed into that direction unless things are straightened out.

With all his previous earnings Pacquiao should be living on interest.  Or is he now living on cash advances?

There is more than meets the eye in Roach’s statement, if  it is true.  But only Pacquiao knows.  Inscribed in one of his signature T-shirts, incidentally, is a big “PACMAN KNOWS”.