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BOXING:

Records suggest Mayweather Jr. owes IRS

Boxer’s manager disputes documents that show $6.17 million lien

Image

Steve Marcus

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, works on his timing with his uncle Roger Mayweather during a workout in his gym Thursday, June 11, 2009.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has said rumblings about his financial troubles are nothing more than rumors, but public records obtained by The Associated Press show the boxer nicknamed “Money” owes about $6.4 million to the Internal Revenue Service and others.

The IRS hit the former pound-for-pound boxing king with a lien in October for $6.17 million in unpaid taxes from 2007, according to the Clark County Recorder in Las Vegas. A New Jersey Superior Court judgment from the same year shows he owes $193,000 in state taxes there.

Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s manager, disputed the documents and said he believed they were inaccurate.

“Floyd Mayweather does not have a problem with the IRS,” Ellerbe told the AP on Thursday. “He doesn’t owe the IRS $6.1 million … I don’t (care) what a lien says.”

“When you have a problem with them, you ain’t hard to find—ask Wesley Snipes,” Ellerbe said. “You go to jail, they come take your (stuff). He doesn’t have a problem.”

Snipes, the actor, is currently appealing convictions of willfully failing to file his income taxes and his three-year prison sentence.

“(Mayweather) is free to move and do anything and everything he wants to do with no problems at all. None whatsoever,” Ellerbe said.

Besides taxes, county records in Las Vegas show the former five-division champ has unresolved debts worth $9,400 to three homeowners associations. Other liens filed with the county say the boxer did not pay nearly $3,900 to a contractor that programmed electronics at one of his homes and $320.10 to his trash collector.

Mayweather, who is returning to the ring after retiring a year ago, has said his scheduled September fight against Juan Manuel Marquez isn’t all about a big payday, but a lucrative purse couldn’t hurt in his ongoing battle to keep up on his bills.

The IRS and others use liens to secure payments by placing a claim on the property of individuals who owe them money. Liens damage a person’s credit rating and remain on credit reports longer than other negative information, such as late payments. Once unpaid taxes are satisfied, the IRS files lien releases saying so with the county recorder.

Raphael Tulino, an IRS spokesman, said Thursday that the agency does not comment specifically on individual tax situations. The IRS said in the October lien itself that it has demanded payment, but the 2007 taxes remained unpaid.

A clerk in New Jersey Superior Court said Thursday that the $193,000 judgment there had not been satisfied.

Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) has been socked with liens in the past and paid them off, according to recorder records in Clark County. The IRS filed liens totaling nearly $6.3 million for unpaid taxes from 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006, and three homeowners associations also filed claims against the boxer that were later resolved, county records show.

Asked about the liens that had been resolved, Ellerbe said: “We’re talking about what’s going on right now. I’m sure you might have been two days late paying your rent two, five years ago.”

The former Olympic bronze medalist made more than $50 million inside the ring during his final 18 months of boxing before he abruptly retired last year and turned his attention to show business.

Mayweather has proved to be a bankable celebrity outside the ring.

He has appeared on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in 2007 and is featured in a current AT&T television commercial. He has said that he made $8 million last year without fighting.

He also cashed in his “Pretty Boy” nickname for “Money.”

“America is built on two things—controversy and money,” Mayweather told HBO before he defeated Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007. “It’s not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s a green thing.”

The cable network documented both fighters leading up to their match for its “24/7” reality series. The same episode showed Mayweather hand-counting $10,000 stacks of $100 bills and bragging about winning $34,000 after betting on an NBA basketball game.

“I ain’t gotta carry no black card, I like carrying mine in cash—get the job done better,” Mayweather said, cracking a grin.

Mayweather received a reported $20 million to wrestle on WWE’s “WrestleMania XXIV” in 2008, part of his efforts to increase his entertainment profile. At a promotional event for that appearance in Los Angeles, Mayweather incited a couple hundred fans by whipping out a money roll and repeatedly tossing $100, $50 and $20 bills into the crowd.

The boxer likes to be seen with a wad of cash, large entourages and expensive jewelry.

“You see me—250 on the wrist, $300,000 on the pinky, $600,000 on the neck,” Mayweather said on another “24/7” episode filmed before his fight with Ricky Hatton in December 2007.

YouTube videos show Mayweather tossing $100 bills into crowds at night clubs — known as “making it rain” for the way the bills look when they fall.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal labeled him the “reigning king of flash and cash” in 2007 for regularly showering patrons and his entourage with cash and expensive Cristal champagne. The newspaper said that Mayweather and his entourage travel in a three-car fleet made up of a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Maybach and a Mercedes McLaren SLR.

“I’ve seen him make it rain at least 20 times in the last couple years,” Branden Powers of Poetry nightclub told the newspaper. “Pound for pound, he’s the best tipper.”

Ellerbe said Mayweather’s comments about money were made just to promote fights.

“Him saying he got a bunch of money, that’s an image, that’s an image. It has nothing to do with his business,” Ellerbe said. “And he can say anything he wants to, but I’m giving you what the facts are. And the facts are Floyd Mayweather does not have a problem with the IRS, or anybody else, for that matter.”

Mayweather’s comeback fight, delayed until Sept. 19 after Mayweather damaged rib cartilage while training, had been scheduled for July 18 at the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Mayweather and Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) are expected to fight at a catch-weight of about 143 pounds, eight more than Marquez has ever fought and the lightest Mayweather has been since 2005.

Associated Press writers Adam Goldman in New York and Eli Segall in Trenton, N.J. contributed to this report.

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