While sports fans are eagerly anticipating next week's rematch between eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley to find out who's the better boxer, a Philippine government office is waiting for the same bout for another reason.
Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares is waiting for the fight, not because she is a fan of the congressman from Saranggani province, but because she is looking to get proceeds of Pacquiao's purse to settle his alleged tax deficiency of P2.2 billion.
Ms Henares urged the Filipino boxer to ensure his documentation of paying his taxes in the U.S. are in order that these may be credited. While Pacquiao initially questioned the very big tax liability, he paid P32 million on Jan 30, Ms Henares disclosed, he still has a P2.1 billion remaining tax liability. She added his overdue amount keeps on growing because the P32 million covered only the value added tax.
Pacquiao has questioned before the Philippine tax court the alleged tax liability which he found too big.
The southpaw, however, is temporarily setting aside his tax woes and concentrating on training at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, California, to recover the WBO welterweight title from Bradley.
The American boxer has vowed to prove to the world that he deserved the crown that he won during their first controversial bout in July 2012. He said he plans to deliver a left hook to knockout Pacquiao, not a right straight that Juan Manuel Marquez unleashed on Pacman in December 2009 at their fourth match.
Bradley admitted, "I'm not a knockout artist ... He's a knockout machine," referring to his opponent's KO record of 38 matches out of 55 fights but stressed he could beat Pacquiao and convince the jurors the welterweight belt is really his.