Skip to main content

Pacquiao squares up to tax man

By Peter Shadbolt, CNN
March 28, 2012 -- Updated 0944 GMT (1744 HKT)
Pacquiao examines documents given to him by an aide, during a press conference in Manila on March 26, 2012.
Pacquiao examines documents given to him by an aide, during a press conference in Manila on March 26, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao says he intends to fight charges over tax
  • The Philippines tax department says the boxer failed to submit proper documents
  • The figher-turned-politician declared assets worth $26.3 million in 2010
  • He says the Bureau of Internal Revenue has singled him out to tarnish his name

(CNN) -- World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao says he intends to fight criminal charges that he failed to submit the proper tax documents for his earnings from boxing matches and his many commercial endorsements.

The eight-time world champion, who is also a politician, could face up to two years in jail if found guilty, but officials from the Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said the matter could be easily resolved if Pacquiao submits the proper documents.

Pacquiao's lawyers said the boxer -- who was in the United States training for a fight with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez when the BIR issued a subpoena last month -- was not given enough time to comply with the request.

Pacquiao declared assets at the end of 2010 of 1.13 billion pesos ($26.3 million) and no liabilities, making him the country's wealthiest lawmaker. He told a press conference on Monday that he had been marked out for harassment by the BIR.

Pacquiao & his team on retiring

Pacquiao: God told me to retire -- but not yet

"Why the BIR singled me out smacks of bad faith designed to tarnish my reputation," he said.

They should have done this in private
Eric Pineda

His business manager Eric Pineda told CNN that Pacquiao had never avoided paying taxes.

"It's just a matter of people jumping the gun," he said. "They should have done this in private rather than going to the media in an attempt to get Manny's attention."

Philippines Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told local media that no one was above investigation by the BIR, adding that Pacquiao was taking the issue personally.

"I don't think the BIR will dare harass an eight-time world champion," Purisima said. "We love and respect [Pacquiao] and we wish him the best -- he is a national icon. But at the same time we have a duty to make sure that we review everyone's income tax return."

The flamboyant boxer-turned-politician -- arguably the world's best pound-for-pound fighter -- has recently been he subject of several colorful stories concerning his career.

Last week, Pacquiao said in a radio interview he had a dream in which God had told him to hang up his gloves, fueling speculation he may back out of a long-anticipated fight with American Floyd Mayweather.

Boxing fans have long sought a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. The pair were in negotiations for a fight to be held later this year but talks fell through.

Pacquiao, 33, has a 54-3 win-loss record with two draws, while 34-year-old Mayweather has won all 42 of his professional fights, 26 by knockout.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1138 GMT (1938 HKT)
Click through our gallery of the most dramatic moments from the world of sport.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1606 GMT (0006 HKT)
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0404 GMT (1204 HKT)
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT)
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1308 GMT (2108 HKT)
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
ADVERTISEMENT