By Keith Idec
Whether Chris Algieri actually would be a legitimate threat to Manny Pacquiao is a source of great debate among everyone from message-board sparring partners to professional matchmakers.
Promoter Bob Arum is sure, however, that if his company, Top Rank Inc., secures Algieri as Pacquiao’s opponent for a Nov. 22 fight in Macau, China, that Algieri will be a compelling ‘B’ side of their HBO Pay-Per-View main event.
“He’s definitely an option because there’s a great storyline,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “You know, a college kid who has a masters degree [from New York Institute of Technology], a superb boxer, speaks well. He has all the elements to make an interesting match for Manny Pacquiao both inside and outside the ring. So sure, we’re considering it.”
Algieri also will come much cheaper than Pacquiao’s previous opponent in Macau. Brandon Rios, a more proven commodity when he signed to oppose Pacquiao, received a reported guarantee of $4 million for absorbing a one-sided, 12-round beating last Nov. 23 in Macau. Sources with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations have indicated Algieri, who upset Ruslan Provodnikov by split decision to win the WBO junior welterweight title June 14 in Brooklyn, probably would command a guarantee of slightly more than $1 million for facing Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs).
That’d still be more than the 30-year-old Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) could’ve imagined making before he topped Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs). The Huntington, N.Y., native’s reported purse for their HBO “Boxing After Dark” main event was a career-high $250,000.
In addition to the attributes Arum mentioned, a Pacquiao-Algieri clash also would afford famed trainer Freddie Roach another shot at Algieri, whom he predicted Provodnikov would stop sometime during the second half of their 12-round title fight last month at Barclays Center. Pacquiao-Provodnikov was a fight that intrigued the paying public prior to Algieri’s debatable win, which, along with HBO/Showtime and Top Rank/Al Haymon restrictions, is among the reasons Top Rank has turned its attention toward the previously unproven former kickboxing champion.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.