Despite the impressive unanimous decision that eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao secured on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, over erstwhile unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley, some boxing analysts agree with the beaten pugilist's observation that Manny's killer instinct is gone.
Bleacher Report featured columnist Scott Palacek, while stressing that the Filipino congressman didn't need a knockout to prove his elite status in the world of boxing, wrote that missing in the rematch is the youthful boxer who at his prime "was a knockout machine who overwhelmed opponents with a combination of power and speed that could not be matched."
Palacek noted that Bradley actually threw more punches, but Manny won because of his blocking ability and elusiveness.
But one opponent he could not elude outside the ring is the Philippine taxwoman who is bent on collecting his guaranteed $20 million purse in the Saturday bout to offset Pacquiao's alleged tax debt of more than P2 billion. If Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares's tax bill is correct, the entire purse is not enough to settle the tax arrears in full.
Other income from the bout could also be added such as the gate receipts and pay-per-view share.
However, even the gate receipts appear to reflect the situation of a boxer teetering towards his retirement years as figures provided by the Nevada State Athletic Commission showed a live gate total of $7,865,100 and a paid attendance of 14,099.
In the controversial June 2012 first bout with Bradley when Pacquiao lost the WBO welterweight belt, the audience was smaller at 13,299, but the gate total was $8,963,180, which means tickets to the Saturday match were priced lower than in 2012.
Badlefthook saw the lower gate receipts as a reflection of the rematch generating interest among die-hard boxing fans, but not for the casual fan who may have opted to watch the slugfest on TV instead.
The site noted that a below $8 million gate receipt was expected, but it was the lowest in Pacquiao's last eight fights. The record holder was Pacquiao's bout versus Oscar de la Hoya in 2008 which earned $14.5 million live gate receipt.
Badlefthook stressed that the numbers are not indicators that Pacquiao's popularity has decreased, adding that while it may be a record-low for an elite boxer, it is still a dream gate for a lot of top boxers.
Even for tax collectors like Ms Henares who would likely be ready with more collection notices for the people's champ upon his return to the Philippines, complete with a motorcade and a courtesy call at the Office of the President. But instead of jasmine garlands to welcome him back, what appears to be waiting for him, insofar as the BIR is concerned, are open palms waiting for more tax payments.