By Sean Crose
Ivan Goldman penned an interesting piece that was published here at Boxing Insider the other day. In his article, Goldman argued that Ruslan Provodnikov should have been awarded the decision over Chris Algieri last weekend in Brooklyn. I commented beneath the article that I, too, felt Provodnikov won the fight, if not the official bout. What’s more, I claimed I wouldn’t be surprised if Algieri ended up fighting Manny Pacquiao in the fall.
Lo and behold, articles are out today dealing with a potential Algieri-Pacquiao matchup. Why? Well, for starters, Algieri is a courageous and appealing fighter. What’s more, he’s a likable guy. I’ve shared a few words with the man myself and he speaks in a fast-paced, personable manner. It’s easy to see, then, how these factors would add to the creation of a superstar.
Is he the best possible opponent for Pacquiao, however? Sadly, that sort of thing doesn’t matter in today’s boxing world. It just doesn’t. Whether it would be a good fight or not, Algieri-Pacquio is a bout that could possibly bring in a lot of Pay Per View hits. In the end, that’s all that matters. It shouldn’t be all that matters, but it is.
So don’t gasp in shock if Algieri signs a contract to meet Pacquiao for Pacquiao’s title without having to have a single fight at welterweight first. It’s just how things roll in boxing. Aside from being talented, Algieri is educated, well spoken and could possibly appeal to a white suburban audience. Those may simply be all the credentials the man needs.
None of this is to take anything away from Algieri, mind you. To the contrary, I was one of the few – of not the only – fight writers to pen an article arguing the kid had a solid shot against Provodnikov. While others were writing him off, I was publicly touting Algieri’s seriousness as a threat to the Siberian title holder.
Now, however, I think the man from Huntington may be getting rushed into a fight that doesn’t totally pass the smell test. Could Algieri give Pacquiao a run? Sure. Heck, for all I know he could carry the day. I doubt that’s how it would play out, however. Algieri had a hard enough time against Provodnikov, after all – and Pacquiao is a cross between Provodnikov and the Road Runner. It’s hard to be slick when you can’t get away from your opponent.
Of course, Algieri and Pacquiao may not end up meeting this year, after all. I personally think that would be a good thing. Let the new champ rematch against Provodnikov first and see where this thing goes. Perhaps Algieri could beat Provodnikov convincingly in a rematch. If Algieri could avoid getting hit like he did the first time, the fight would be all his – and a superbout with Pacquiao would be all the more warranted.
For now, though, let’s just let things run their course. Pay Per View events which are strictly market driven often disappoint. Seriously, does anyone really think Danny Garcia-Floyd Mayweather would be a good bout? I get the feeling that’s the bout we’ll all be presented with this September, though. Why? Because it’s believed Garcia has a strong fan base. You don’t really think Floyd’s going to want to fight the likes of Tim Bradley or Keith Thurman, do you? Neither of those guys bring in the numbers.
Of course sometimes two popular fighters really do belong in the ring together. That’s not as often the case as it should be, though. And I don’t believe it’s the case with Algieri and Pacquiao – at least not yet.