Negotiations are underway for Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao to face New York’s Chris Algieri, according to various media reports. The fight would likely take place in November in Macau, with junior welterweights Ruslan Provodnikov and Brandon Rios potentially facing each other on the undercard.
“We have a Pacquiao offer on the table and we are negotiating that actually as we speak and I expect that we’re going to have a resolution within the next day or two,” Algieri’s promoter, Joe DeGuardia, told the New York Daily News.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, was a little more circumspect in various interviews, but did confirm that negotiations were taking place and that he is meeting with Algieri co-promoter Artie Pellulo on Wednesday. So while things are by no means set in stone, there are strong signs that the fight could take place. Whether the fight would be at Pacquiao’s welterweight or Algieri’s junior welterweight is unclear.
To be frank, I thought the notion of Pacquiao vs. Algieri fight was a little ridiculous when I first heard it (and it hasn’t grown on me much). Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) has beat exactly one top opponent so far, Provodnikov, and not by much.
If you want to know the reason the fight might happen, look no further than Arum, who mysteriously forgot to mention the fact that Algieri is tall or has good boxing skills. “I’m intrigued by the fact that Algieri is a college kid who is very articulate and is somebody who is a credit to the sport,” he told The Ring’s Lem Satterfield. “I think that’s more important to me than anything else.”
If you don’t speak fluent sports euphemism, I’ll translate that for you: “ALGIERI IS WHITE.”
As for Algieri’s chances if the fight comes to pass; I don’t rate ‘em. Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) and Provodnikov are on different planets when it comes to skill and athleticism, though it would be intriguing to see Pacquiao try to deal with a near six-footer with boxing skills.
Pelullo thinks otherwise, but that’s kind of his job: “It’s a great opportunity for Algieri,” he told Satterfield. “I think that if he uses a similar style that gave Ruslan a hard time, that it’s the same style that will give Pacquiao a hard time.”
In other news, I’m fairly confident that riding my bicycle to work has given me enough experience to fly a Boeing 747. It’s a similar style of movement.
As for Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KO) and Rios (31-2-1, 23 KO): Give it to me. Now. These junior welterweights are the most ridiculously macho guys in the sport and there’s absolutely no way they make a bad fight.
There’s the slight hurdle of Rios’ comeback fight with Diego Chaves this month, which isn’t a foregone conclusion, since all Rios’ brutal fight have to catch up with him sometime. But if he is healthy and gets past Chaves, consider my mouth watered.