Pacquiao vs. Algieri a done deal for November 22nd!
By Chris Williams: The Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) vs. Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) is reportedly a done deal for November 22nd at the Venetian Casino & Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.
Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that the Algieri wrapped up the deal on Tuesday following a meeting with his promoters Joe DeGuardia and Artie Pellulo. The fight will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is taking a big risk in having the fight take place in Macao, China, which is where Arum staged Pacquiao’s fight against Brandon Rios last year. The pay-per-view numbers for that fight were a disaster with only 475,000 buys coming from the fight. Arum later blamed the low interest in the fight being due to the fight card taking place in Macao, which prevented many U.S media personnel from attending the fight.
It’s unclear what’s changed since then, because Arum should have learned his lesson, but then again this is a fight is more about opening up the Chinese markets for eventual pay-per-view.
“We have a deal,” Arum said to Dan Rafael at ESPN. “On my end, it wasn’t a hard deal at all. I came up pretty much with what they were looking for and then Joe and Artie had to sit down with Algieri and cut it up fairly amongst themselves.”
The purse isn’t yet known for Aligeri, but it’s said to be over $1 million. Earlier this week there were rumors of Algieri getting $1.5 million, but again this still hasn’t been confirmed. The guaranteed purse will also likely include a percentage of the pay-per-view upside whatever it is. Unless this fight makes a ton of money the upside from the pay-per-view might not be substantial.
Algieri will be moving up in weight from 140 to challenge Pacquiao for his WBO welterweight title rather than Pacquiao moving down in weight to challenge for his light welterweight strap.
Algieri defeated WBO champion Ruslan Provodnikov by a 12 round split decision last month in Brooklyn, New York. It wasn’t an exciting fight, but Algieri did the job to get the win by outworking Provodnikov.
“I think it’s an interesting fight between him and Manny,” Arum said. “This is a college-educated kid, a good boxer, the kind of kid who will draw interest other than the hardcore boxing fan. And the kid can also fight.”
I think a lot of boxing fans would disagree with the amount of interest in Pacquiao fighting a little known college-educated fighter. It sounds nice for just a second when you think about it, but it’s not attention grabbing. It’s not something will mean much of anything to the average boxing fan. It might mean something to wealthy people who were educated at Harvard like Arum, but for the average person, nah, it’s probably not going to mean anything at all.
I hope Arum isn’t too disappointed if this fight fails to bring in even 400,000 pay-per-view buys, because I see this card tanking badly in one of Pacquiao’s worst PPV events of his career. I think Arum has lost his vision in what fans really care about.
Having Pacquiao fighting Algieri is going to make it even more important for Arum to include a quality undercard in order to bring the pay-per-view buys over the 500,000 level. If Arum does it on the cheap by stacking the undercard with obscure prospects, he’s going to be asking for trouble.
If all boxing fans are going to get for their money is to see Pacquiao fight a “college-educated kid,” which I assume will be Arums selling point, then I can’t see this thing even breaking 500,000 PPV buys.