Arum compares Algieri to Gene Tunney
By Chris Williams: In what has to be seen as a huge reach on Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s part, he’s now comparing Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) to former heavyweight champion of the world Gene Tunney (65-1-1, 48 KOs) with his boxing skills and the way he fights. Algieri is facing WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) on November 22nd at the Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.
With Algieri hardly a household name in the U.S, Arum really has his work cut out for him to try and attract interest in this fight. Arum quite rightly believes that the pay-per-view numbers in the U.S likely won’t be tremendous, but he expects for the difference to be made up by him selling the Pacquiao-Algieri fight to Chinese audiences on pay-per-view at $4.
Arum also says that the site fee that they’re getting from Venetian Casino & Resort will help make up the lost. And lastly, Arum sees the lower taxes in Macao will help Pacquiao from losing money because he’ll be able to avoid the U.S income tax rate of 39.5%. Algieri won’t be able to avoid the tax, because he’s a U.S citizen, so he’s stuck in getting hit with it.
“I think Chris Algieri is a terrific fighter and a big talent. It’s almost like a return to Gene Tunney,” Arum said to theTelegraph.co.uk.
Tunney held the heavyweight world title from 1923-1931. He was the guy known for getting a controversial “long count” win over a past his prime Jack Dempsey in 1927. Tunney was knocked down and then the referee blew it by giving Tunney a long count of 14 seconds because he wasted 4 seconds focusing on trying to get Dempsey to go to the neutral corner instead of starting the count. It was obviously seen as a bogus win by many boxing fans at the time, and it kind of tainted Tunney’s legacy in many ways because he wasn’t seen by a lot of fans as the legitimate winner of that fight due to the referee.
Algieri is kind of like Tunney in the way he fights though. Tunney did a lot of circling of the ring and constant holding to keep his opponents from throwing shots. Tunney was really good at the ‘punch and grab’ technique that later was used by many fighters. Compared Dempsey, Tunney was much less exciting to watch, as he did too much movement and holding to win over a lot of boxing fans. But he ended up retiring as the champion without running into any obstacles.
Algieri is frustrating to watch for some fans because he does use some of the techniques that Tunney used, but those techniques are used by so many fighters nowadays that it’s hard to make the comparison to Tunney.
Arum said “If he [Pacquiao] fights in Macao, he’s not subject to U.S income taxes, which are 39.5 percent. We hope to make up the shortfall with pay-per-view in China. The market is huge and we’re going to sell it for like four dollars.”
Pacquiao will do well if he’s not taxed for the pay-per-view loot that he receives from the U.S fans, but Algieri is kind of stuck. If the Chinese pay-per-view money is good, then this might work out well, but it’s obviously a fight that isn’t going to bring in big pay-per-view numbers in the United States because Algieri is an unknown, and the fight is seen as a mismatch by knowledgeable fans.
It’s going to be interesting to see who Arum puts on the undercard of this fight. He’s not done much in Pacquiao’s recent fights. For example, in Pacquiao’s last fight against Tim Bradley in April of this year, Arum had Raymundo Beltran vs. Arash Usmanee as the co-feature bout. And in Pacquiao’s fight before that in November of last year against Brandon Rios, Arum put Evgeny Gradovich vs. Billy Dib as the co-feature. In other words, Arum isn’t doing much in including good undercards for Pacquiao’s fights nowadays in terms of including big names.