Pacquiao could fight Alvarado or Abregu if Algieri negotiations fail
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has former WBO light welterweight champion Mike Alvarado 34-3, 23 KOs) and #2 WBC, #4 WBO Luis Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29 KO’s) on standby as a backup plan for one of them to fight WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) if the negotiations with WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KO’s) fail to work out for the 35-year-old Pacquiao’s November 22nd fight in Macao, China, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
Both Abregu and Alvarado are promoted by Arum, and would be easy for him to match up with Pacquiao in the event that things don’t work out with Algieri in trying to put the fight together.
With Abregu and Alvarado being the backup plan for Arum, it kind of shows you how bleak things are right now in terms of Pacquiao’s available options. Juan Manuel Marquez isn’t an option apparently. There’s been talk of Pacquiao possibly fighting some of Golden Boy Promotions fighters, but that obviously is too premature at this point.
Alvarado has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights and is coming off of a defeat against Marquez from last May. Having him take the fight to Pacquiao would be a tough ask for boxing fans. How would fans feel about paying to see Pacquiao fight a guy with that many defeats in his last three fights? A fight between Pacquiao and Alvarado wouldn’t be on regular HBO, you can bet on that. It would still be pay-per-view. The only way a fight between Pacquiao and Alvarado does well is if casual boxing fans rally behind the idea of Pacquiao fighting a guy that they know little about. Hardcore fans would know full well the history behind Alvarado’s recent losses to Ruslan Provodnikov and Marquez, and they would likely hate the idea of Pacquiao fighting him.
Abregu doesn’t have a huge following in the U.S, and he’s not faced any high caliber fighters during his 9-year pro career. The best guy he fought was Tim Bradley, who soundly beat him in 2010. But compared to Alvarado, Abregu at least is winning his fight even though he’s not fought anyone special.
It would be tough for Arum to ask boxing fans to pay to see Pacquiao fight Abregu because he’s not had the visibility in the U.S to make him a viable alternative.
Algieri is pretty much in the same boat as Abregu and Alvarado in being a poor choice as an opponent for Pacquiao. Algieri has only had one fight on HBO, and that was against Provodnikov. He’s not been seen enough for casual boxing fans to know who he is. Arum still thinks that it’s a great storyline with him having a master’s degree with him planning on going to medical school one of these days. Arum sees it as a fight that the media could create into a big fight, especially the New York media. Whether that angle would be enough to lure massive amounts of boxing fans to purchase a Pacquiao-Algieri fight on pay-per-view is unknown, but Arum is willing to try.
“I like the storyline with Algieri,” Arum said to Dan Rafael of ESPN. “Besides being a good fighter, he’s a college graduate, a kid who wants to go to medical school to become a doctor…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. It remains to be seen how we’ll do [on PPV], but when you have a great storyline you can really push it.”
I think Arum is really reaching here and over-thinking what boxing fans care about. I don’t see fans caring one bit about the storyline that Arum thinks is fascinating. Fans want to see good fights, and it doesn’t matter one bit what kind of degree Algieri has. He could be a part-time surgeon, and fans would still likely not have any interest in the fight due to it shaping up to be a mismatch. Algeiri doesn’t have power, and he’s totally defense. It’s got the makings of a mismatch, and a boring one at that.