This is the case now for Manny Pacquiao. He's an all-time great, and viewed as a hero in the Philippines. He has made tens of millions of dollars in a single night… multiple times. Yet now, he has less than $30,000 in his bank account, and fought Brandon Rios in part because he had no choice. He needed the money.
With Pacquiao's home country partially in ruins due to the recent typhoon, Pacquiao is one of the people called upon to help provide relief. Unfortunately, he has to borrow money just to make that happen, despite the fact that he has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of his career.
According to Pacquiao's camp, the Filipino government is trying to double-dip and charge him taxes on money that he was already taxed on in the United States. But still, Pacquiao's problem isn't unique to him. There are many other boxers who have finished their career penniless, or had to keep on fighting well beyond their prime because they continuously needed one more payday to make ends meet.
Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao… these are some of the biggest names in boxing history, yet they all had severe financial issues late in their career.
Is this a problem with the individuals, or is boxing set up to break a man in more ways than one?
Filmmaker Leon Gast sums up Pacquiao's issues. Everyone is coming to him with their hands out, even the church:
The more Pacquiao borrows or tries to hand out to people, the more he is indebted to others and is forced to fight once again and risk his health to get that next payday.
The problem is that even when he fights, he's losing money. Between trainers, agents, promoters, nutritionists, tickets, hotel rooms, security, chefs, and various other members of his entourage, it almost costs more to get paid than it does to just simply train.
Pacquiao (and many others) will have to find a way to make money without letting the various leeches siphon off his profits, before it's too late.