The opponent for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight remains uncertain but Chris Algieri made a compelling case after beating heavily favored Ruslan Provodnikov on Saturday night.
Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) got the biggest win of his career over Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs), who had previously expressed interest in fighting Pacquiao.
Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, who sets up Pacquiao’s fights, said befoer the bout that the winner of the Algieri-Provodnikov bout could very well by the opponent in Pacquiao’s scheduled fight on November 22 in Macau, China.
That appeared to be Provodnikov, who shares a trainer with Pacquiao.
The trainer, Freddy Roach, told the Los Angeles Times before the fight that discussions were underway as Arum doesn’t think that Pacquiao rival Juan Manuel Marquez will agree to a fifth match.
Other possible Pacquiao opponents — such as another junior-welterweight world champion, Danny Garcia, and former Pacquiao stablemate Amir Khan — have been mentioned, Provodnikov wants the Pacquiao opportunity, Roach said.
“I still don’t really have interest in that fight, but his manager came begging to me to make it happen, and I asked Ruslan, ‘Do you really want to make that fight happen? You’re going to lose me as a trainer, and have a slim chance of winning,'” Roach said. “Ruslan said, ‘Well, we need big fights like that.’ I said, ‘If you want it, I’ll give it to you.'”
But that matchup is in questions after the Algieri win.
And Algieri is now saying that he could pull off another upset against “Pacman” (56-5-2, 38 KOs).
“Pacquiao is a good fight,” he told Boxing Scene.
“It’s a great fight. To be in there with a guy like Manny, definitely a future Hall of Famer, it would be awesome and I think stylistically it could be a good matchup. He’s another dangerous guy but I think my style would match up well.”
Commentors on the story were not so sure.
“Algieri needs to learn quick that Pac is not Ruslan,” said one. “It’s clear that Algieri wants the quick payout so he can get back to being a nutritionist at some mom and pops clinic.”
“That would be a terribad fight,” said another. “I see no reason for it to happen.”