Pacquiao vs Algieri: Promoters must get creative to salvage this oneWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38KOs) for PacMan's WBO welterweight crown on November 22nd at the Venetian in Macau, China.
The outcry over this match-up, which was announced Wednesday, has reached epic levels and many, if not most, in the boxing world have not only pledged they have no intention to order the fight or watch it, some seem genuinely disinterested.
Do you remember how poorly Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios allegedly performed at the box office last November? It's believed PPV buys were in the area of 500,000 to 550,000.
PacMan, who dazzled inside the ring and gave what was arguably one of his top 10 performances, was guaranteed $18 million USD plus a portion of the PPV revenue. And it was believed the Filipino superstar had the potential to earn upwards of $30 million for his services but, rest-assured, he probably didn't receive a sum remotely close to that.
Some surmise the location, Macau, China, was partially to blame for the horrid buyrate while others insist Pacquiao's opponent, Brandon Rios, was not taken seriously by fans.
Now, not only is Top Rank headed back to China, Pacquiao is fighting an opponent with far less 'juice' than Brandon Rios.
Keep in mind, the colorful, tough-as-nails Rios was, and still is, a fan favorite of sorts who had just engaged in back-to-back Fight of the Year level matches on HBO against Mike Alvarado. This is the same Brandon Rios who had made a solid name for himself through the years thanks to his bad boy persona and crowd-pleasing style.
If promoters think Pacquiao vs Rios tanked, what in the world are they expecting for Pacquiao vs Algieri?
Even after the highly-publicized Freddie Roach/Alex Ariza/ Robert Garcia pre-fight melee, the bout garnered little fanfare (versus previous PacMan bouts) in the States.
So who is Chris Algieri?
Algieri, a jr welterweight even some die-hards were not familiar with, burst on to the fight scene last month when he scored an upset twelve round split decision victory over the heavily favored Ruslan Provodnikov in Brooklyn to claim the latter's WBO jr welterweight strap.
Dropped twice in Round 1 by the heavy-handed Russian, Algieri battled back and used his reach, speed and boxing ability to mitigate Ruslan's subsequent attacks.
But even Algieri's victory was not without controversy and some felt he simply wasn't effective enough to earn the win.
Unlike the case last November, in four months Pacquiao will be facing a nameless, faceless paper champion of sorts who seemingly lacks a fan-friendly style.
Can this card eclipse 200,000 buys? How will Manny earn the money he is accustomed to?
Algieri is a fine fighter who certainly deserves credit for defeating Provodnikov. Moreover, he may very well be a fighter to watch - But from a marketing and promotions perspective, he has yet to generate the level of buzz required to produce even satisfactory interest in a superfight with Manny Pacquiao on the biggest stage in boxing.
Promoters must 'think outside the box' to salvage this one.
If you were Top Rank, what would you do to save Pacquiao vs Algieri?
PPV numbers for random fight cards since 2010
Cotto vs Martinez - 350,000 (est)
Mayweather vs Maidana - 850,000-900 (est)
Pacquiao vs Bradley 2 - 750,000 - 800,000 (est)
Marquez vs Bradley - 375,000
Mayweather vs Canelo - 2.2 million
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 - 1.15 million
Martinez vs Chavez Jr - 475,000
Pacquiao vs Bradley 900,000
Mayweather vs Cotto - 1.5 million
Cotto vs Margarito 2 - 600,000
Pacquiao vs Marquez 3 - 1.4 million
Mayweather vs Ortiz - 1.25 million
Pacquiao vs Margarito - 1.15 million