CHRIS Algieri may be unknown to many, but he does pose a big threat even for a great fighter like Manny Pacquiao.
Eric Pineda, business manager of Pacquiao, said the Filipino boxing icon watched the fight of Algieri against pal Ruslan Provodnikov and saw how the 30-year-old New Yorker pulled off a stunning upset against the hard-punching Russian to wrest the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title a month ago.
“He’s good and undefeated,” said Pineda of Algieri, who holds a 20-0 record with 8 KOs. “Siyempre, tinalo niya `yung kaibigan ni Manny, so malaking challenge 'yun para sa kanya (Pacquiao).”
The fight is set on November 22 at the Cotai Arena in Macau, with Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title belt at stake.
Algieri already signed the contract for the bout that guarantees him at least a US$1 million pay day. Pineda refused to disclose if the `Pacman’ has also done the same, but said its most likely Pacquiao agreed to all the contract terms, including the catch weight of 144 lbs.
Pacquiao is coming off two straight wins against Brandon Rios and his rematch against Timothy Bradley. And though Algieri is not as celebrated as the two, Pineda said the eight-time world champion is definitely not taking chances against the undefeated challenger.
“Lahat naman ng nakakalaban ni Manny dangerous,” said Pineda, aware how Algieri managed to survive two knockdowns against Provonikov, a former Pacquiao sparmate, to become a world champion.
“But one good thing about Manny is that he always finds the weaknesses of his opponents and that’s what he’ll capitalize (on).”
That trainer Freddie Roach also had a close look at how Algieri fought against Provodnikov – whom he also trains – will also be an added edge for Pacquiao, Pineda said.
“For sure, Freddie knows what to do this time,” said Pineda, who is also team manager of PBA expansion team Kia Motors, where Pacquiao serves as head coach.