Did you know that Manny Pacquiao has a fight this weekend?
Did you know it’s going to be held in Macau instead of Las Vegas?
Did you know that he’s facing Chris Algieri?
Do you know who Chris Algieri is?
I asked all four questions to a friend of mine a few days ago and guess how many he got right?
Give yourself a prize if you answered zero.
It’s been that kind of year in boxing, which has looked just about as irrelevant as a sport than in any other year in recent memory. If people don’t even know that Manny Pacquiao has an upcoming fight this weekend, then you know that the sport’s mainstream popularity is in trouble.
To be fair, I myself had to do a little bit of research on who Chris Algieri is. Apparently, he’s a 30-year-old American fighter who sports a 20-0 record, eight of which came by knockout. He’s already fought twice this year, beating Emmanuel Taylor by unanimous decision in February and scoring a split decision against Ruslan Provodnikov in June.
That’s the extent of notable details Algieri’s career has had, which, you know, really isn’t that much to begin with and he is less than a week from facing one of the best fighters in the world.
And you’re wondering why boxing is slowly falling into obscurity?
Algieri’s a good fighter, but don’t tell me he’s earned this fight on the basis of his work in the ring. Sure, he’s undefeated, but other than Provodnikov, who’s he really beaten? Of his 20 opponents, only two of them – Provodnikov and Mike Arnaoutis – have their own Wikipedia pages. I checked Arnaoutis’ page and found that the only thing interesting about the guy is his “Mighty Mike” nickname. Oh, he was also a former WBO NABO Lightweight champion. Wait, what’s NABO? Is that a brand of biscuits?
(It’s the North American Boxing Organization. Who knew!)
I’m not knocking Algieri for accepting this fight. Hell, I’d call him stupid if he didn’t. The payday alone makes the probable beating worth it.
However, if Top Rank can’t fight a more accomplished fighter to put against Pacquiao, then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s not like there aren’t any notable fighters out there. Danny Garcia, anyone? Lucas Matthysse? Lamont Peterson? Adrian Broner?
If the promoters wanted to get the fans excited, any of those four names would’ve been better than Algieri. I’ll even tell you that a Pacquiao-Broner fight would’ve been the biggest fight of the year. Hands down bigger than the two Floyd Mayweather Jr.–Marcos Maidana fights.
But because boxing is corrupted with selfish corrupters who can’t agree amongst themselves how to slice a loaf bread in half, we’re getting fights like Manny Pacquiao vs Chris Algieri.
God bless this sport.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Pacquaio’s a 1/10 favorite while Algieri is penciled in as an 8/1 underdog. A draw, for information’s sake, is 28/1.
But you probably don’t care and quite frankly, I get why you don’t.
Here’s to hoping we get a great fight. That’s the only thing that’s going to save boxing this year.