LAS VEGAS - Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. agreed to pay US$5.6 million in back taxes before the Internal Revenue Service was poised to take the money from his purse after his Saturday comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
The IRS sent the Nevada Athletic Commission a levy notice on Sept. 4 ordering Mayweather's unpaid taxes from 2007 to be deducted from his $10-million fight purse, commission executive director Keith Kizer told The Associated Press.
Kizer said the IRS backed off one week later, after Mayweather agreed to pay the money. Mayweather won the fight in a unanimous decision.
Mayweather's tax lawyer, Jeffrey Morse, told the AP on Tuesday that federal officials never intended to take Mayweather's purse, and the five-division champion has satisfied all his IRS debts.
"Floyd has - and I will absolutely attest to it - more than satisfied every tax obligation that he has," Morse said. "As of today, as of some time ago, which I can't tell you when, he owes zero to the IRS."
Morse said he expected the IRS to release a $6.17 million lien filed with the county recorder's office in Las Vegas in October last year.
Records on Tuesday showed the lien was still open.
IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino said he could not comment on individual tax matters.
A copy of the levy notice obtained by the AP shows the IRS was seeking less than what it filed for in its lien. The notice dated Aug. 25 said Mayweather owed $4.71 million in unpaid taxes and $930,000 in statutory additions calculated through Sept. 25.
"Although we have given the notice and demand required by the (Internal Revenue) Code, the amount owed hasn't been paid," the notice to boxing regulators said. "This levy requires you to turn over to us this person's property and rights to property that you have or which you are already obligated to pay this person."
Kizer said the IRS did not notify the commission until fight week that the levy would not be necessary. Mayweather and all other fighters on the card were fully paid, he said.
Morse said Mayweather owed substantially less than the $5.6-million levy, but would not say why it was valued at less than the original lien.
Morse said the levy itself was part of Mayweather's agreement with the IRS, not an impetus for the boxer nicknamed "Money" to settle the debt. Morse said the levy was used by the IRS as collateral.
"Unfortunately, if we knew that this information would be out there and disclosed to reporters, we probably wouldn't have entered into that agreement," Morse said. "Floyd likes to keep his private business private."
Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) has faced liens in the past and paid them off, according to recorder records in Clark County. The IRS filed liens totalling nearly $6.3 million for unpaid taxes from 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006, and four homeowners associations also filed claims against the boxer that were later resolved, county records show.
The IRS in August released Mayweather from a lien for nearly $15,900 for unpaid taxes from 2001, county records show. Also last month, a homeowners association rescinded a lien against Mayweather valued at nearly $4,200 last year.
Two other homeowners associations still have open liens against the boxer worth $5,200, according to Clark County records.
A New Jersey Superior Court judgment from 2007 for a state tax debt of $193,000 was still unpaid, according to the court.
Morse declined to comment on the judgment.
Mayweather also faces a lawsuit in Las Vegas from JP Morgan Chase, alleging he owes more than $167,000 on an unpaid loan for a half-million dollar luxury car from 2007. The lawsuit filed Sept. 9 alleges Mayweather bought a Mercedes Maybach 57S in February 2007 and stopped making monthly payments of more than $9,000 a year later.
Mayweather's manager, Leonard Ellerbe, said Tuesday that Mayweather had not been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment.