Manny Pacquiao's search for a November 22 opponent in Macau may be over, as Top Rank has made a formal offer to unbeaten 140-pound titleholder Chris Algieri for the date, a move that just a month ago would have seemed outlandish, and probably still won't get too many fight fans excited.
Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) upset Ruslan Provodnikov on June 14 to win the WBO junior welterweight belt, while Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) beat Timothy Bradley in an April 12 rematch to reclaim the WBO welterweight title.
"We have a Pacquiao offer on the table and we are negotiating that actually as we speak," (Algieri promoter Joe) 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."
... "I hope we'll be able to get Joe on the phone and we'll be able to button this up," Arum said in a phone interview. "We're talking serious now with the idea of making the fight. It's not bullshit. Now, whether it gets made or not I don't know."
There's a new business direction for Pacquiao that seems to be relying less on fading American PPV numbers and more on his ability to make big money as a live attraction in Macau. Manny's last two buyrates have seriously underwhelmed, and Top Rank may be conceding that the 35-year-old Pacquiao isn't the sort of draw that he used to be on pay-per-view, while also finding a new avenue to keep the fighter extremely profitable.
Algieri, 30, displayed tremendous heart and determination in his narrow win over Provodnikov, who laid a tremendous beating on Algieri but was largely outboxed over the course of the fight.
Is this a fight you have any real interest in seeing? Do you see yourself paying the $70 for this on pay-per-view if this is the fight that gets made?