Money, Money, Manny

The odds of winning P650,000,000 in last night’s 6/55 Grand Lotto are one in 29 million. If that sounds near-impossible, consider this: The odds of a Manny Pacquiao living in our midst is one in 6.77 billion. That’s because, of our planet’s entire population, there is only one Manny Pacquiao. There is only one human being—a Pinoy—who is the universe’s “Pound-for-Pound No.1.” This means that—as far-fetched as it sounds—you are more likely to win the 6/55 Grand Lotto than to produce the next Manny Pacquiao. Our Pambansang Kamao is the rarest of finds in our Milky Way Galaxy.

Speaking of money, did you hear that the No.1 individual taxpayer in our nation today is not Lucio Tan. He’s not a Zobel or an Aboitiz or another Manny (Pangilinan) who heads Smart and Meralco and PLDT. He’s the former construction boy from General Santos City who is today’s Congressman from Sarangani. Last April and for the year 2008, Manny Pacquiao paid a whopping P125 million in taxes. He was the BIR’s No.1 pound-for-pound individual taxpayer, handily beating Willie Revillame (P58.6M), Piolo Pascual (P55.8M) and even San Miguel Corporation’s Danding Cojuangco, who contributed a measly P18.98 million.

In his latest fight against Antonio Margarito, the 31-year-old Pacquiao—whose first paycheck as a 16-year-old boxer was a few hundred pesos—earned, for those 36 minutes on the Texas ring, a total of $15,000,000 guaranteed purse plus $5,000,000 because of the 1.15 million Pay-Per-View (PPV) buys in the United States. Based on simple arithmetic, that’s $555,555 per minute. Translated to pesos, that’s P880,000,000 or P24,444,444 per minute.

Of course, Manny doesn’t take home all this money. I’m sure he pays a heavyweight-size tax amount to the IRS of America. The same in our country that’s newly-called (from the previous “RP”)… “PHL.” He pays Freddie Roach possibly a million bucks. There’s Top Rank’s Bob Arum’s share. There’s Alex Ariza, Buboy Fernandez, Atty. Jing Jacal, his two dozen staff who include boys who open the door for him and who wash his laundry. There’s the chartered airplane ride from L.A. to Dallas and back, the congressmen he’s invited to cheer for their classmate and, of course, his lucky charm, Chavit Singson—whose body sticks to Manny like a magnet when the HBO cameras are on. These are expenses. These are expensive.

And so, to be conservative, let’s assume MP takes home half. That’s still $10 million. Though no longer exceeding the lotto prize, that’s still nearly half-a-billion pesos. Is Manny Pacquiao our first Filipino billionaire sportsman? Absolutely. He’s passed that borderline some time ago. How about multi-billionaire? That sounds better.

Consider these numbers compiled by Abac Cordero of The Philippine Star. In his article last November 26 entitled “Pacman’s take: At least $20M – Arum,” here are some figures…

Manny has averaged “double-digit millions” in his last five fights. But prior to that, in his breakthrough fight against Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003, he “only” earned $500,000. Against the other top names like Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz, he averaged between $750,000 to $3 million. That’s more money than 99 percent of our population will ever see. But those numbers are insignificant compared to Manny’s last five fights. Here are his double-digit scores: Oscar de la Hoya: $15,000,000. Ricky Hatton: $13,000,000. Miguel Cotto: $13,000,000. Joshua Clottey: $12,000,000. Antonio Margarito: $20,000,000. From these five contests alone, Manny’s revenue was $73,000,000. Sliced in half, that’s $36.5 million or P1.6 billion. All earned by one man. All in five bouts. All in a short span of 23 months from December 2008 to November 2010. One billion six hundred million pesos.

Imagine if Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. agrees to the mid-2011 Fight Of The New Century? Manny’s money can climb to P3 billion. With all that cash, who needs the 6/55?

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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