Promoters tout Algieri's strengths as Pacquiao fight nears
The fight is not officially made yet, but promoters are already touting unbeaten American Chris Algieri's chances against Filipino fight king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.
Promoters Joe DeGuardia and Artie Pelullo, and Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum, said earlier that while a Pacquiao-Algieri fight was not yet done, they are close to finalizing a deal.
To that end, DeGuardia has begun building up Algieri, who was mostly unknown among casual boxing fans until he upset Russia's Ruslan Provodnikov to earn the WBO light-welterweight belt.
"I think that this is a dangerous fight for Pacquiao, which is the same exact thing that said when he was fighting Ruslan," DeGuardia told RingTV. "I would venture to say that we're looking at a similar situation here."
Algieri was an underdog against Provodnikov, whose attacking style and punching power made him a fan favorite. The Russian slugger knocked Algieri down twice in the opening round, but the Long Island native recovered and outboxed Provodnikov the rest of the way to earn a disputed decision.
"This kid (Algieri) is tall, rangy, with a good jab, and he's a kid who throws a lot of fast type punches, sort of the way Pacquiao's punches are – a lot of volume and multiple punches," DeGuardia said.
"We have a situation where if this kid can out-hustle Manny, then he can give him problems," he added.
Arum, for his part, called Algieri a "breath of fresh air" in boxing, but acknowledged that he may have some trouble promoting the bout since the American was not the most popular of opponents.
That the bout will likely be held in Macau on November 22 adds to the problems of promoting it as a pay-per-view.
"It remains to be seen how we'll do (on pay-per-view)," Arum admitted in an interview with ESPN.com. "But when you have a nice storyline, you can really push it. Would I like if Algieri had more exposure? Absolutely."
"But it is what it is," Arum conceded.
The promoter did say that he likes the storyline that Algieri brings. The 30-year-old fighter is a former kickboxer who went to college at Stony Brook University and has a Master's degree from the New York Institute of Technology.
"Besides being a good fighter, he's a college graduate, a kid who wants to go to medical school to become a doctor in the future," said Arum. "He's articulate, good-looking, and we'll get a lot of backing in the promotion from the New York media because he's from New York."