Superstar Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao will be fighting outside the United States for the first time since 2006 this November, at least in part because of what the boxer views as America’s high income tax. But in 2010, Pacquiao campaigned for Democratic tax hikers like Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and California Gov. Jerry Brown.
In February, Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz told Yahoo! Sports that Pacquiao will make his 2013 return to the ring outside of the United States because America’s top tax rate of 39.6 percent made fighting in the U.S. “a no go.”
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum echoed those sentiments.
“Manny can go back to Las Vegas and make $25 million, but how much of it will he end up with — $15 million?” Arum he told Yahoo! Sports in February. “If he goes to Macau, perhaps his purse will only be $20 million, but he will get to keep it all, so he will be better off.”
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Pacquiao will be fighting boxer Brandon Rios in Macau, China, in November. Macau has a top marginal income tax rate of 12 percent.
But in 2010, when Pacquiao was in the United States training for a fight against Antonio Margarito, he actively campaigned for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid has repeatedly supported increasing taxes on wealthy Americans, including supporting allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on upper income Americans which led to the 39.6 percent top marginal tax rate that Pacquiao reportedly balked at.
Not only did Pacquiao campaign for Reid, but the Filipino boxer even claimed after Reid won the election that his support for him was critical.
“[Reid] was behind 4% in the polls before I got out there,” Pacquiao told the Los Angeles Times after the November 2010 midterm elections. “There’s a lot of Filipinos in Las Vegas.”
In the same interview, Pacquiao also claimed to have helped now-California Gov. Jerry Brown win his race.
“I also helped Brown here,” Pacquiao said. “I helped him campaign. I gave a message to the Filipino community to support Gov. Brown, and they did.”
As governor, Brown pushed for an income tax increase on single Californians making at least $250,000 and married Californians making at least $500,000. The tax increase passed by referendum last November.
Besides being a boxer, Pacquiao is also a congressman in the Philippines.