Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prize Money Should Be PRIZED Money

It is relatively hard to stay on top of the game and remain there until you retire. Many elite boxers have enjoyed and cherished the feeling of being at the top of the hill that some of them do not know when to step down when they have to step down. In most cases, some prize fighters who have been in the limelight for too long loved the fame and the glory that they do not see their own descent.

Manny Pacquiao is no doubt at the top of his career and will retire on top of the hill (if he sticks to his plan) after his November 13th bout, whether it’s against Floyd Mayweather or not. By the time Pacquiao hangs his gloves and dons the political suit, he will certainly be remembered as one of the smartest boxers of all time, finance wise. Smart in contrast to boxing elites like Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns, Mike Tyson, and former Filipino world champion Rolando Navarette.

Last year, Hearns had to auction his title belts so he could pay the IRS. Tyson, way beyond his prime, was forced to come out of retirement and fight so he could pay the same agency Hearns dealt with recently. And these are top dogs of the boxing world who have made millions of dollars during their notable careers.

Going back, Pacquiao himself suffered and endured poverty but as he rose through the ranks, so well he did financially. Now, Pacquiao is a legitimate billionaire, if you care to count his money in Philippine peso. He has various businesses that include a string of grocery stores, restaurants, and even his own boxing promotional outfit. He will certainly go down as one of the Greatest of All Time. But unlike those who have stood atop of the boxing summit, Pacquiao also retires from the sport financially sound and stable.

If there is anything boxers from the younger generation can learn from the Pacman apart from the man’s tenacity inside the ring and feats outside, is that they should learn how to handle their money wisely. Boxing is a brutal sport and there is nothing cool about getting paid to beat and be beat up, no matter how big the prize money is. A boxer knows how much punishment a body can take before the toll mounts up. And in most cases, some did not even reach their primes.

It is a sad truth. The squared circle can instantly be boxer’s death bed. And the sadder truth is they die poor, unknown and unsung.

Not everyone can become elite contenders and world champions. Just ask Bobby Pacquiao, who has been at the receiving ends of a series “blow blow” and whom Manny, his superstar of a brother, did not share his A-Side meth. But all boxers can be smart when it comes to money. I say this because being smart with money does not require a college degree. It requires common sense.

And every boxer in the world certainly has that. Even those that throw stacks of dollar bills while chilling in a Vegas club. At least he knows those bills were fake.


Photo from Showbiz Gossips


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