CHRIS Algieri just signed on for the biggest fight of his life after agreeing to a title fight against boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao on Thursday.
The little-known boxer from Long Island, New York, is set to receive a guaranteed purse of US$1 million or more for his November 22 clash with Pacquiao at the Cotai Arena in Macau, where the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt of the 35-year-old Filipino icon will be at stake.
“I am pleased that I have been able to provide this opportunity for Chris,” said Joe DeGuardia, the longtime promoter of Algieri, in a statement shortly after the former kickboxer formally signed the deal. “It’s rewarding when you see the fruits of your labor come to fruition.”
Algieri’s fight against Pacquiao, which ESPN first reported, comes barely a month after he shot to boxing fame following his stunning split decision upset of Russian Ruslan Provodnikov to wrest the WBO junior welterweight crown.
The unbeaten 30-year-old fighter, who holds a master’s degree, earned just $100,000 for beating Provodnikov, a former sparmate of Pacquiao who’s also being handled by trainer Freddie Roach.
Algieri (20-0, 8KOs) went down twice in the opening round and fought on with a swollen eye through most of the bout, but made up for it by staying resilient for the entire 12 rounds to pull off the surprising win.
Pacquiao (56-5-2 38 KOs) is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Timothy Bradley last April to avenge his controversial loss to the same American fighter last year.
A potential showdown with the young Provodnikov appeared on the horizon until Algieri altered the projected scenario.
Pacquiao previously kept mum about his next possible opponent, although Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said the eight-time world champion is fine about fighting a less-heralded boxer in Algieri.
The Filipino boxing star was supposed to attend Friday's PBA dispersal draft for expansion teams Kia Motors, of which he is the head coach, and Blackwater Sports. He's likely to skip the event though, as he'll be attending to his sick wife Jinkee.