Like most of you, my first thought after hearing that the much-rumored Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match had been officially announced was: “why?” After all, who wants to spend $100 on a pay-per-view that features a 40-year-old retired boxer who specializes in a boring, defensive style and a UFC champion with literally zero professional boxing experience?
However, the spectacle of it all will eventually force many to succumb and admit interest. The magnetism of the two fighters alone will attract millions of even casually interested fight fans, as McGregor vs. Mayweather quickly becomes one of the can’t-miss pop culture events of the summer. We say “pop culture” events because it has very limited legitimate sporting appeal, but so what?
Now, there is new information about why Mayweather is even bothering with this fight. Sure, the answer to that question was always “money,” but ESPN’s Darren Rovell recently provided some additional context. According to Rovell, Mayweather has filed a petition in Tax Court asking for a reprieve from the IRS on an amount owing.
“Although the taxpayer has substantial assets, those assets are restricted and primarily illiquid,” the petition said, according to the legal website Law360. “The taxpayer has a significant liquidity event scheduled in about 60 days from which he intends to pay the balance of the 2015 tax liability due and outstanding.”
The specific amount of tax that Mayweather owes wasn’t stated, but then there’s this quote from after his 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao, courtesy of Floyd’s Instagram account. The emphasis is ours:
“I will always have the last laugh. This is just one of my many checks, a cool $100,000,000.00 that I still have every dime of. Y’all still have to work however, I’m happily retired.”
Floyd, you gotta pay taxes on that kind of income! Mayweather made an estimated $220 million from the fight with Pacquiao, which would come with a huge tax hit. If he didn’t pay any of it, he could be looking at a $100 million IRS bill.
The IRS had previously argued that Mayweather could easily pay the bill if he sold off property or used assets as collateral to take out a loan. But it sounds like Uncle Sam will have to wait until after the fight on August 26 to get paid, since Mayweather is likely to make at least $100 million from fighting McGregor. Hopefully, he pays his taxes on the income this time, otherwise we might get Floyd Mayweather vs. Brock Lesnar in a circus freak show match sometime in 2019.