By Michael Marley
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, age 79 going on 39, interrupted his champagne and strawberries summer holiday in Paris, to inform me by telephone Thursday afternoon that my reportage concerning IRS tax audits on Manny Pacquiao for the years 2006 and 2007 - were accurate as far as it went.
I did point out Wednesday, that these kind of tax audits are common occurences for big-time earners such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., and also for foreigners who earn cash in our shores such as Pacquiao.
Still, Arum wanted to clarify the information.
"We have a 30 percent US witthholding on Manny," the Top Rank major domo said. "These audits will result in money refunds to Manny. He just got one for almost $1 million. These audits are not going results in any liabilities for Manny. No liablities whatsoever, just getting money back. Manny's in good shape in this tax category."
As to a report from the Philippines, that Pacquiao's net worth may "only" be $26 million or as much as he has made in recent fights, Arum demurred.
"They say that., by far, he's the richest Congressman in the country. Remember, he's got a lot of real estate also. So I don't know how they account for all that or if it is understated. I would estimate Manny's net worth to be more, a lot more," Arum said.
As for the internal power struggle within Team Pacquiao, between Timothy James Sladeck [runs Pacquiao's website] and Michael Koncz [Pacquiao's adviser], Arum was ho-hum.
"This will be straightened out. There's a lot of jealousy, a lot of backing and filling here. It takes me back to the days of the Muhammad Ali entourage, that was the same kind of spit," Arum said.
"This James guy, I've never even met him, I don't know what he looks like as many times as I've been to the Philippines. As far as I'm concerned, Koncz is a very honest guy. The other guy is aligned with (Pacquiao's lawyer Franklin "Jeng") Gacal and they are out to get Koncz."
With that, Arum excused himself.