by Charles Jay
Forget about the fact that Juan Manuel Marquez just seems to have the style to give Manny Pacquiao trouble. The fighter and his trainer have taken the position that PacMan’s third life-and-death struggle with the rugged Mexican, which some observers – Pacquiao fans among them – thought should have gone the other way, was a result of the distractions that were swirling around him.
Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank
It is reported that a failing marriage resulted in Pacquiao being served with divorce papers the night before the fight, and that Pacquiao, who was also an avid cock fighter at the time, was in the middle of a party atmosphere, which Freddie Roach explained to the Los Angeles Times had “girls and everything goes with it,” which leaves much to one’s own imagination.
Keep in mind this was less than a year after Pacquiao was invoking God a lot with his stern opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippine legislature.
Yet it’s been packaged as such a revelation that Pacquiao has found religion in a big way, reconciled with the wife, quit cock fighting, partying, gambling and a lot of other things that God doesn’t like. Except boxing. Not just yet.
One of the other things that was a distraction was the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines, which had been inquiring about Pacquiao’s 2010 taxes and upon not getting documents related to them, issued a subpoena while PacMan was in the U.S. training for the fight. Certainly that is something substantial to have hanging over your head, even if it is of your own doing.
This tax issue hasn’t gone away, and the BIR is still waiting for the tax documents to be delivered, despite Pacquiao’s claims of harassment, and his threats about lawsuits.
While the tax agents are standing firm, they also don’t want to become scapegoats. Mindful of the fact that Pacquiao and his people have played the “distraction” card, they don’t seem to want to get in the way as he prepares for his June 9 fight against Timothy Bradley. Apparently they are willing to wait until the fight is concluded before resuming their aggressive pursuit of the documents that they hope will give them answers as to why Pacquiao paid just P7 million in taxes for 2010 (roughly $164,500 in U.S. funds), which the congressman is trying unusually hard to keep away from them.
If Pacquiao winds up losing to Bradley, “we don’t want to be blamed,” says Kim Henares, the head of the BIR, according to a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Not that he would need any special excuses to lose to Bradley, who is 28-0 (with a no-contest) as a pro and has engaged in seven world title fights as a junior welterweight.
But there is still that tax issue looming, and as you can imagine, the problem isn’t disappearing, nor is the BIR. The nature of the documents that are tucked away wherever he is hiding them haven’t changed, and he’s got to be wondering what is going to be awaiting him when he returns home after the fight, win or lose.