Of taxes, Money May and killer instinct: Manny Pacquiao comes clean

Kevin Iole
Yahoo SportsFebruary 6, 2014
Manny Pacquiao v Timothy Bradley - News Conference
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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 06: Manny Pacquiao addresses the media during the press conference to promote his upcoming WBO welterweight championship rematch fight against Timothy Bradley at New World Stages on February 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

For some reason, things get attributed to Manny Pacquiao that either aren't at all what he said or are a distortion of his views.

Prior to his fight with Brandon Rios in Macau, it was noted that he no longer wanted to fight in the U.S. because of the high taxes assessed on foreign athletes.

But on Thursday, Pacquiao said such statements are untrue. He's fighting Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in the main event of an HBO Pay-Per-View card at the MGM Grand Garden and said he's thrilled to be back at his home away from home.

"I really like to fight in the U.S., and if you asked me where I wanted my fights to be, my first choice would be America," Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports.

Pacquiao was widely quoted last month calling rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. a coward. It made for good copy and drove a lot of traffic to a lot of websites, including Yahoo Sports.

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It was all well and good except, again, it wasn't true.

"I never called him that," Pacquiao said. "I never called Floyd a coward. If somebody said I said that, they are wrong. I never said it and no one [on my team authorized to talk] said it. That never came from my mouth."

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The list goes on and on. Unless it is on video or is coming from a highly reliable source, the rule of thumb regarding Pacquiao comments is to be skeptical.

But there is one area where there is no need for skepticism. Pacquiao hasn't won a fight by stoppage since defeating Miguel Cotto in 2009.

He came close against Antonio Margarito in 2010, but took his foot off the accelerator. To a certain degree, he came close in his 2012 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.

But for the most part, it's been a more passive Pacquiao since that Cotto fight.

Before each of his fights, trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum, among others, stoke the fires by saying that this will be the fight in which Pacquiao's old killer instinct returns.

And, indeed, Roach said that during a telephone interview Thursday with Yahoo Sports.

"He's felt it was enough to just win his fights, and he didn't see the need to hurt the guys," Roach said, attempting to explain Pacquiao's lack of finishes. "Maybe it's a little bit of the Bible. I've had a lot of talks with him and I'm sure it's not going to happen again.

"Tim Bradley told Manny he thought he lost the killer instinct and, frankly, Manny got pissed off at that. He thought it was disrespectful."

At some point, though, talk has to turn into action. Pacquiao and his team can't expect fans to keep buying his pay-per-views if he keeps promising to be the devastating wrecking machine he once was and then fails to deliver.

But more than ever before, Pacquiao is adamant he's gunning for the knockout when he meets Bradley in a rematch of a fight he thought he had won handily before.

"People talk and say I don't have the killer instinct or that wickedness that I used to have," Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports. "Bradley said that. Sometimes I'm too nice to my opponent in the ring. I have been happy winning on points, because it is winning. I've been kind of nice to them.

"But the fans want to see that hunger from me, and I'm always concerned about the fans and their satisfaction. So I'm going to fight this fight to show that I still have that hunger and that killer instinct. We'll see if it is still there or not."

The admittedly long-shot odds of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight ever occurring would at least be reduced if Pacquiao were to keep his word and stop Bradley.

One report that came out of the Philippines that proved to be true is that Pacquiao said he's willing to fight Mayweather with all proceeds going to charity.

He said he wants the fight and has agreed to all of Mayweather's terms. To take the money split out of the equation, he suggested the purses go to the winner's charity of choice.

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Pacquiao originally made the comment, he said, because Mayweather was taunting him about reports of tax problems.

Pacquiao's tax attorney, Steve Toscher, released a statement to Yahoo Sports in December addressing the reports regarding the boxer's tax situation.

"We recently became aware of stories about Manny's personal taxes," Toscher's statement read. "Manny and his financial advisors are handling the situation and have no comment other than to say the disclosure of Manny's personal tax information is wrong and the recent stories contain serious errors.

"Manny is committed to working with the IRS to resolve any outstanding issues. We ask that people respect Manny's privacy and allow the tax process to run its course."

Mayweather's comments, though, didn't escape Pacquiao's attention.

In Thursday's conversation with Yahoo Sports, Pacquiao denied any tax issues and appeared bothered by Mayweather's taunts.

"None of it is true," Pacquiao said. "He's making all of these allegations and he doesn't know [the truth]. I told him, 'Let's fight for charity.' That's the way to do it. I'm not materialistic like some people. Give the money to charity to help the people and give the people the fight they want."

Roach said he hopes the fight happens because he said he believes Pacquiao would be highly motivated to stop Mayweather. Promoter Lou DiBella, a highly respected boxing analyst, tweeted on Thursday that he believed Mayweather would defeat Pacquiao 100 of 100 times if they fought.

Roach sloughed off such comments and said Pacquiao still can be a force.

"I respect Lou, and everyone has their opinion," Roach said. "Mike Tyson picked Manny Pacquiao to win. So who is more knowledgeable, Lou or Mike Tyson? And look: Mayweather is slowing down. His legs are shot. He has to exchange now because his legs aren't what they were, not because he wants to put on exciting fights.

"That's really a goal of Manny's now, to put on exciting fights, and to get back to stopping guys. He's heard the criticism and he's heard all the talk and he wants to prove he still does have that killer instinct."