Top Rank promoter Bob Arum gave WBO light welterweight champ Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) offer to be the opponent for Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) on November 22nd in the 35-year-old Filipino’s next bout at the Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.
Arum has been intrigued at the idea of Algieri, a popular East Coast fighter, getting the Pacquiao fight ever since his miracle 12 round split decision win over former WBO 140 pound champion Ruslan Provodnikov last June. Algieri was expected to lose that fight by many boxing fans, but instead he survived a 1st round knockdown to come on and defeat the Russian Provodnikov by a close 12 round split decision.
“I hope we’ll be able to get Joe [Degardia] on the phone and we’ll be able to button this up,” Arum said the NYdailynews. “We’re talking serious now with the idea of making the fight. It’s not [BULL]. Now, whether it gets made or not I don’t know. But I can tell you the fight is there for Chris.”
Whether the fight gets made or not will depend on if the offer was a respectable one. If it’s one that is considerably lower than the money offers that Pacquiao’s recent opponents have received, then it’s quite possible that DeGardia and Algieri will reject it to try and get a better deal. Arum obviously knows that Algieri doesn’t have a huge fan base outside of the East Coast in the U.S, and he can definitely use that as a way of getting him in at a cheaper price.
“We have a Pacquiao offer on the table and we are negotiating that actually as we speak,” DeGuardia said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “And I expect that we’re going to have a resolution within the next day or two.”
This is not a great fight by any stretch of the imagination. It actually has the makings of a one-sided mismatch, but it least will keep Arum’s fighter Pacquiao winning a little while longer.
Arum might be making a mistake in offering a fight to Algieri instead of someone more popular than him because this is not a fight that the boxing public is asking for right now. It’s a fight that has to be seen as a step down from Pacquiao’s recent matches against Top Rank fighters Tim Bradley and Brandon Rios.