By T.K. Stewart
Regardless of whether he wins or loses in his big gamble against Oscar De La Hoya on December 6th in Las Vegas - one thing is for sure - Manny Pacquiao is set to be propelled onto the list of the most wealthy individuals in his native country of the Philippines.
While Pacquiao will probably never be confused with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or even Donald Trump - all business titans of the United States and the world - he will make the list of the top 30 to 40 most wealthy Filipinos.
According to Forbes Magazine, the cut-off to make it onto the top-40 most wealthy in the Philippines is in the neighborhood of $25 million. The 40th spot is currently occupied by another Manny - Emanuel Pangilinan - who is Chief Executive of Hong Kong's First Pacific Company which owns major stakes in Philippine Long Distance Telephone and Indonesian noodle maker Indofood.
Pacquiao is set to earn a guaranteed $10 million purse in his fight against De La Hoya and he stands to make untold millions more, perhaps even a total of $20 million, should the fight do well on pay-per-view.
The De La Hoya windfall for Pacquiao will be in addition to a string of multi-million dollar paydays he has earned over the past five years in mega fights against the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. His contract with Bob Arum's Top Rank guarantees him a minimum of $2 million for every fight.
Not to be forgotten in the mix of Pacquiao's wealth is the fact that he has earned millions of dollars in endorsement contracts with multi-national companies such as Nike and McDonald's. Manny has also appeared in Filipino movies and has delved into music by recording his own CDs. Conservative estimates say Pacquiao has earned at least $20 million per year in each of the past 2 or 3 years.
Other diverse revenue streams for Pacquiao include selling his likeness to video game maker EA Sports for its popular 'Fight Night' game. He also owns a rooster farm, a minor league basketball team, rental property and has even started his own boxing promotional company.
Headlines were made earlier this year when it was reported that about $180,000 of Pacquiao's money was plundered from a Los Angeles area Wells Fargo bank by a former associate who forged his name on checks. Pacquiao said he had "forgotten" about the account and was not even aware of the fraudulent transactions.
And just several weeks ago, perhaps in a sign that he is attempting to keep a better handle on his money, Pacquiao suddenly boarded a flight and flew back home to the Philippines to ensure his fortune was secure as the global economy went through a financial meltdown.
What is clear is that Pacquiao is a true rages-to-riches story. The little boy born in Bukidnon, Philippines who made his way to General Santos City to become a boxer has certainly come a long way from the days when he slept on the mud floor of his family's ramshackle dwelling.
Pacquiao has fought his way out of extreme poverty and now earns far above the current average monthly income for a person in the Philippines - which is about $115.
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