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Pacquiao vs Algieri: The Wrong Fight for the Right Reasons

by Chris “Polish Hitman” Morris

As the Pacquiao v Algieri clash approaches, the shit is getting deep. I mean, hold your watch over your head deep. The ridiculous “conspiracy theorists” are hard at it, trying to convince you that this entire promotion is a farce and that Algieri has no place in the ring with Pacquiao and therefore, you shouldn’t watch.

I will agree, the fight is not one that excites me, at all. But this fight, albeit the “wrong fight,” is taking place for ALL the RIGHT reasons, conspiracy theorists be damned!

When we go back to the beginning of all of this hate for the fight, and specifically Algieri, it started when he upset the apple cart that was to bring us the fresh produce of ‘The Siberian Rocky’, in hard-charging Ruslan Provodnikov, taking on Manny Pacquiao. That fight would have been loved by all. I don’t think you can find a fight fan who doesn’t want to see these two go at it: styles make fights and this matchup has blood, guts and gore written all over it.

I get the disappointment, I was disappointed myself.

But to hold Algieri and Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao’s feet to the fire over it is ridiculous. Do you really think Arum WANTED to promote Pac vs Algieri rather than vs Provodnikov? Does that make one iota of sense to anyone? But these “ranters” will tell you that before the fight Arum was already talking about making the Algieri vs Pacquiao fight.

And THIS is the basis for your bullshit “theories?”

Understand Chris Algieri was brought in as the sacrificial lamb being fed to the hungry lion in Provodnikov to set up the Pac v Provo fight. You find me ONE person who picked Algieri before the fight, Algieri’s mother and team don’t count. Everyone just knew it was a foregone conclusion that Algieri would be fantastically knocked out to set up the next fight. Did you expect Arum to simply state that fact? Of course not, he’s going to pump up the fight at hand and try to get you going for the underdog. They point to Arum’s saying the fight he wanted to ‘zero in on’ was Algieri v Pac, after Algieri upsets Ruslan.

Earth to writers, promoters are going to say anything and everything to promote a fight. They are here to make money and empty seats don’t cut it. I find it very telling that the same people who are trying to shit on Arum for talking up the Algieri-Provo match up and even more so the Algieri-Pac match are the same guys who were on his ass about his honesty about HBO’s willingness, or lack thereof, to put on ‘hard core only’ fan favorite Guillermo Rigondeaux on their air waves. Promoters are simply damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Oh, the irony.

Did you have all of these theories going into the fight? How about after the first round, were you raving that Arum had paid the judges to score it for Algieri? Hilarious, when you step back a moment. Nobody thought Algieri would see the final bell. Nobody.

But, Bob paid the judges!

Now, Algieri gets off the canvass, twice, and works his ass off and pulls the huge upset. Yes it was an upset and you can keep quoting ‘54% of the media felt Provodnikov won’ until you are blue in the face. It doesn’t matter what you think or that 54% think, at all. Were you ringside to hear and feel the punches first hand? Bottom line is, 100% of that 54% is completely irrelevant and meaningless. It’s not about you as a boxing writer and your personal scorecard, it’s about the fighters and fights, correct me if I’m wrong? So take your personal scorecard and do something useful with it, like starting the fireplace.

These “ranters” conveniently forget that the Provo-Algieri bout was billed as an ‘eliminator’ for the the Pacquiao lottery ticket. Algieri fought his ass off. He got off the canvas, twice, to outbox the guy he was supposed to get destroyed by, but none of that matters, especially when you have a hidden agenda.

Let’s take a step back to when Zahir Raheem upset Erik Morales, remember that?

This was the EXACT same situation.

Raheem was brought in as the sacrificial lamb for Morales to look outstanding against to set up his rematch with Pacquiao. Like Algieri, Raheem pulled the upset. Won the biggest fight of his career. And what did his winning the vacant WBC international lightweight title, over a living legend, lead to? Not much. His next fight was for the WBO’s vacant title and he was beaten by Acelino Freitas by split decision. He didn’t even defend the title he won. Now, he’s a complete after-thought in the boxing world. And it’s a shame.

Is that how it’s “supposed to go?” Of course not. He should have been rewarded for his effort and accomplishment.

What should have happened was Raheem getting the shot and payday with Pacquiao that he had EARNED. But, that fight wasn’t marketable at all, so Arum and Top Rank snubbed Raheem and put Morales in with Pacquiao, despite coming off a loss.

In boxing when you beat someone, it should open doors and bring bigger paydays and you climb the ladder towards the top. Otherwise, what’s the use? Everybody loves an underdog story, right?

Algieri pulled off a huge upset, nobody saw it coming. Should he suffer the same consequences as Raheem? Is that “fair” to you boxing fans? I personally would have been more upset if they snubbed Algieri and made the Provo-Pac fight, as though Algieri didn’t win. But they kept their word, they went ahead with the Algieri clash, knowing it wasn’t an attractive fight and a hard sell.

And writers are faulting everyone involved? How about praising everyone involved for a change for not following the status quo?

Don’t be fooled by these writers who use key words to help you find your opinion on their side of the fence. They use phrases to make you feel like you are stupid to not share their opinions, which are usually stated as fact.

Case in point from a column in The Boxing Tribune.

“With most ‘boxing people’ puzzled as to why this fight is happening at all and none but the most generously optimistic giving Algieri any chance at the upset, the sales job has to be aimed at the less informed.”

The intent here is to make you question what type of fan you are. If you like this fight, forget the reason, you are not “boxing people” or you are not “hard core” enough as a fan. And you are obviously one of the aforementioned “less informed.”

Don’t buy this bullshit, ever. Algieri is being marketed exactly the way he should be. He has the potential to become a cross-over star, what EVERY boxer strives for, so you market him to the people who will relate, that’s a crime?

Again, I point to the Rigondeaux example.

“The whole set-up has to raise question marks and red flags for those inclined to at least consider conspiracy theories related to boxing – and, frankly, if you aren’t inclined to believe in boxing-related conspiracy theories to some degree, you probably don’t know all that much about the business behind the sport,” continues the aforementioned column.

Do you see the pattern? It screams, “agree with me or you are simply not a true boxing fan or less of a fan.”

You don’t need anyone to tell you what you should like or dislike as a fan. You are entitled to your opinion. Don’t get sucked into the traps and manipulation. Stand strong.

When you read these “rants” and find yourself scratching your head like “what the hell? and where did this come from?,” my advice is this. Print the article on paper. Take a sharpie and fashion a TMT logo at the top, you know like letterhead. Reread the article and you will see the the point of view crystal clear. It’s very transparent.

Again, this isn’t the greatest match-up. Saying Algieri doesn’t deserve the fight is absurd, he won the eliminator of sorts. He did what he was supposed to do and the “boxing gods” should reward him.

Bottom line for me is, dammit, this “wrong fight” IS happening for all the “right reasons,” and I can live with that as a boxing fan.

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