Manny Pacquiao is one of the most successful boxers of the last decade, but a new report claims that the 34-year-old is broke.
Pacquiao, who moonlights as a politician in the Philippines, reportedly sought to provide aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a massive storm that devastated entire villages. However, the welterweight revealed on Tuesday that he had to borrow money to support his efforts because the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines has frozen all of his bank accounts on suspicion of tax evasion, the Associated Press reports.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue claims that Pacquiao has yet to prove that he paid taxes in 2008-2009 and owed 2.2 billion pesos in back taxes as of July—an amount equivalent to $50 million, AP reports. With his bank accounts frozen, Pacquiao told reporters that he borrowed more than 1 million pesos, or $22,700, to provide aid to those affected by Haiyan.
Pacquiao also claims that he paid taxes to the United States after his fights against Ricky Hatton and Oscar de la Hoya, and noted that a treaty between the United States and the Philippines prevents him from being subjected to double taxation. Furthermore, he suggests that he would have been arrested in the United States if he hadn’t paid his taxes, and he implored the Bureau of Internal Revenue to remove the blocks on his accounts.
“I appeal to them to remove the garnishment so that I can move and pay for my staff’s salaries,” Pacquiao told reporters in the Philippines, according to the Associated Press. “I am not a criminal or a thief.”
“The money that was garnished by (the Bureau of internal Revenue) is not stolen,” Pacquiao continued. “This came from all of the punches, beatings, blood and sweat that I endured in the ring.”
However, Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares claims that Pacquiao provided a letter from his promoter, Top Rank, and HBO sports as proof that he’d paid his taxes in lieu of proof from the IRS.
“That is self-serving and a mere scrap of paper,” Henares said, according to the Associated Press. “What he can do is go to the IRS, ask IRS to certify this copy (of his tax payments) as a true copy. We have been waiting for that for two years.” Henares added that the Bureau of Internal Revenue had asked 22 banks to turn over the money that Pacquiao allegedly owes; only two of those banks claimed to possess Pacquiao’s money, and the total only amounted to $25,000.
If Pacquiao is indeed broke, he will have blown through more than $300 million in earnings from his storied boxing career, according to Forbes. He earned at least $18 million from last Saturday’s win over Brandon Rios, an amount that could climb as high as $30 million based on pay-per-view revenue.