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Manny Pacquiao gearing up for Bradley fight amid tax rap controversy

TAGs: boxing, government, Manny Pacquiao, Philippines

manny pacquiao boxingPound-for-pound king and Philippine congressman Manny Pacquaiohas become an increasingly controversial figure in the past months, fueled, in part, after the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed criminal charges against him for failing to submit the proper documents regarding the amount of money he was raking in from his boxing exploits.For his part, Pacquaio appears to be undaunted by the serious charges being levied against him as he begins preparations for his June 9 fight against Timothy Bradley at Las Vegas, USA.In talking about the BIR case, Pacquaio doesn’t look like a man who sounds like he’s being grilled under pressure. “I am not affected,” he said. “That is nothing to me.”

Pacquaio also said that his full attention is on his training and preparations for the Bradley fight, where he is a heavy favorite to put the first loss in Bradley’s otherwise perfect record. Bodog.eu has listed Pac-Man as a 2/9 favorite while “Desert Storm” is a heavy underdog with a 16/5 line.

With the fight a little over two months away, Pacquaio is already gearing up for training, having done some of his traditional road work leading up to the official opening of training camp, which begins on April 16.

For a man that has had his fair share of controversies in the past, Pacquaio has mastered the fine art of deflecting attention from all of it the same way he has become adept at dodging and weaving in the squared circle. But on the other hand, this isn’t the kind of controversy that you can just sweep under the rug. This is the Philippine government, the very same government where he is a part of, that’s chasing him.

BIR chief Kim Henares has made it clear that the BIT has never accused Pacquiao of tax evasion and they just want to be on the up-and-up as far as documents stating that the boxer has paid the right amount of taxes relative to his income as a prized fighter and as an endorser. According to the BIR, Pacquiao declared assets at the end of 2010 totaling 1.13 billion pesos – that’s around $26.3 million – and no liabilities, numbers far too big for our simpleton brains to count, but something that apparently raised some eyebrows with the tax folks in the Philippines.

“If he just does the simple thing of presenting the documents, then the case will be closed,” Henares told reporters.

As far as we’re concerned, controversy and Manny Pacquiao have become synonymous to each other, so much so that we’re starting to think that this kind of stuff fuels him in the ring. But like we said, this issue of alleged tax evasion is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially for a man who has already admitted that his boxing career is at its twilight and, likewise, has made no bones about his intentions of running for a higher public office in the Philippines.

We’re nowhere near his inner-circle of advisers – “yes-men” seems like a more appropriate description for them – but if we did have his ear, we’d tell him to get all this straightened out because if he wants to be a bigger presence in the Philippines more than what he already is today, he needs to be on the straight arrow with the government that, like we said, he is a part of.

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