Boxer Manny Pacquiao to sell Manila mansion after neighbours complain
Eight-time world titleholder and congressman to sell $9m home as wealthy neighbours unhappy with visits of poor constituents
The Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao is planning to sell his $9m (£5.7m) Manila mansion after receiving complaints from neighbours that his visitors are always wearing “just shorts and slippers” and making the neighbourhood look bad.
Pacquiao’s five-storey, three-bedroom home is located in Manila’s upmarket Makati neighbourhood, where the capital’s “old rich” drive luxury cars, employ housekeepers and gardeners, and entertain guests next to glittering swimming pools.
But the eight-time world title winning fighter and congressman regularly sees constituents who come to his house asking for small donations and financial assistance. A former fish vendor who emerged from poverty to become one of the world’s richest athletes, Pacquiao bills himself as a “man of the masses” and says he would rather buy a new home than succumb to the wants of his neighbours.
“I may be as rich as some of them here, but my lifestyle remains the same and so is my heart,” the 35-year-old told Agence France-Presse. “I am just a simple man. I will never change that.”
Pacquiao bought the house for $9m in 2011 and hopes to make a profit on it after completing a number of renovations. The mansion is just one of five that Pacquiao reportedly owns, along with a number of expensive cars and a hometown residence in the southern Philippines with a boxing-glove-shaped pool.
While the boxer has said he is keen to continue seeing his constituents in a new neighbourhood, local media reported that he may also be hoping to use the proceeds of the mansion’s sale to help pay off about £31m that he owes in income tax.
Pacquiao claims to have apologised to his neighbours for upsetting them, saying some were understanding about the situation. The Philippines is the third-poorest nation in south-east Asia, with more than a quarter of the population living below the poverty line.