Has Chris Algieri hit the Pacquiao jackpot by beating Provodnikov?
By Yannis Mihanos: There are two names in the recent history of boxing that each fighter wants to fight one day: Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Last Saturday many people were surprised by Chris Algieri with me included. No one knew Algieri before the match. He was number 13 in the rankings and was expected to be easily dispatched by heavy hitter Ruslan Provodnikov.
Provodnikov did drop twice in the canvas Algieri in the first round. The swelling in the right eye of Algieri after the first knockout got even worse as the rounds passed, but he kept on coming with a lot of body movement and many mosquito bite-like punches to the head of the Russian Provodnikov.
Algieri’s many light shots convinced two of the three judges to grant him a 12 round split decision. The third judge saw it different with him scoring it 117-109 in favor of Provodnikov, and I have to say that I agree with that score of the fight. But boxing decisions sometimes work in mysterious way.
Provodnikov tried to inflict more damage on Algieri as the rounds passed, and he was at times successful at doing this, but he couldn’t catch him again like the first round.
The story of the match could be clearly seen on the face of Algieri. The swelling in his right eye could have been the reason to end not only the match but also his career. The damage could have been irreversible.
Algieri took the risk and continued on even with only one eye vision, even with his health at risk. This was his moment and an eye injury would have been sad to stop him from fighting. One might say that what he did was plain stupid for him to fight the full 12 rounds, yet others will say it was heroic as he could have got a very serious problem out of this like what happened with Antonio Margarito in his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2010.
Margarito had to be stopped in the late rounds in his second match against Miguel Cotto after his surgically repaired right eye swell closed by the 9th round. That was the last we saw from Margarito as soon afterwards retired from boxing.
Before last Saturday night everybody was talking about a potential match-up between Provodnikov and Pacquiao. Things now have dramatically changed and it seems the risk that Algieri took (along with the beating) might pay off quite well for him now that’s he’s one of the candidates to fight Pacquiao.
We saw a similar scenario with Maidana vs Mayweather. Maidana, before his fight against Adrien Broner last December, he wasn’t the favorite to get a fight against Mayweather. But Maidana ended up getting the Mayweather fight based on his impressive win over Broner.
Even if there is a clause in the contract for Algieri to fight Provodnikov again, he won’t hesitate to step up and fight Pacman if he’s given the chance.
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is very keen with the idea of matching Pacquiao vs. Algieiri in November, as he thinks that Algieri has the appeal necessary to attract the audiences in the U.S.
And who could blame Algieri if he accepts the Pacquiao fight? It would be his biggest purse of his career, possibly as high as $5 million depending on the pay-per-view numbers. Not many fighters with just 21 fights under their belt arrive at this stage for a payday like that.