MANILA, Philippines – Is Manny Pacquiao, whose rags-to-riches story has captured the imagination of fight fans around the globe, going bankrupt?
Rex “Wakee” Salud, a long-time confidante of the Filipino boxing superstar, revealed Pacquiao’s financial status in an interview with Sun Star Cebu’s Erwin Lirazan.
"Di lang kay nahurothurot, hurot gyud! (He did not just lose his money, he lost all of it)," said Salud, who has known Pacquiao since he started boxing in the mid-'90s.
Pacquiao rose to superstardom by beating some of the biggest names in boxing including Oscar de la Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales.
He earned millions of dollars through those victories and became one of the top paid boxers in the industry.
Forbes Magazine even listed Pacquiao as the 14th highest paid athlete this year with estimated earnings $34 million from boxing purses and endorsement deals.
However, the boxer doesn’t seem to know how to manage his riches, as he is known to be very generous especially to the poor, according to Salud.
“Daghan man sab gud na siyang gitabangan, dili man na siya kahibalo mobalibad (He helped a lot of people, and he didn’t know how to refuse),” said Salud.
The Filipino boxer is also known for his flamboyant lifestyle as he reportedly owned several mansions in Laguna, General Santos City and Forbes Park, Makati City.
He also owns an extensive collection of expensive cars, including a Ferrari 458 Italia, which he reportedly bought for $309,000 (P13.367 million).
However, some of his biggest expense went to politics.
According to ESPN’s Nigel Collins, Pacquiao spent approximately $8.6 million (around P379 million) in campaign funds for the 2010 and the 2013 elections.
“He spent an estimated $6.6 million on his successful 2010 campaign to become the congressional representative of the district of Sarangani,” Collins said in his ESPN column.
“[His] wife Jinkee and brother Rogelio also ran for office [in 2013], and it cost Pacquiao approximately $2 million to finance the campaigns,” the analyst said.
Salud hinted that Pacquiao is now motivated to fight because of money.
“Unya dugay sab siyang wala makaaway. Hurot man gani ang iyang kuwarta katong sige siya’g away, karon pa kaha nga hapit usa ka tuig una siya moaway og balik (He always ran out of money when he was still actively fighting, even more so when he stopped fighting for almost a year now),” said Salud.
The last time Pacquiao fought was in December 2012 when he lost to Juan Manuel Marquez via a shocking sixth-round knockout.
He had to take a long furlough from boxing because of the way he got knocked out.
Just recently, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau’s Steve Angeles reported that Pacquiao is selling off his Los Angeles mansion for $2.7 million.
The boxer bought the five-bedroom Mediterranean style home for $2.17 million in 2009.
Salud said the Brandon Rios fight this November will be Pacquiao’s last chance. If he fails again, then it’s over for the Filipino boxer, said the veteran boxing promoter.
“Last card na kini ni Manny, kon mapilde siya angay na siyang mo-retire (This is Pacquiao’s last card. If he loses, then I think it’s time to retire),” he said.