Manila – Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is to fight unbeaten American Chris Algieri in Macau in November, the Filipino’s US promoter Bob Arum has said.
Pacquiao is to stake his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title against Algieri on November 22, according to Arum, head of Las Vegas-based Top Rank boxing promotions.
“Everything is done. Pacquiao is on board” for the Algieri fight, Arum told reporters in Manila by telephone late Tuesday.
Algieri, 30, has a spotless 20-0 professional record, capturing the WBO light-welterweight title in June by split decision from Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov, a former Pacquiao sparring partner.
But the fight with the 35-year-old Pacquiao, once regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his generation, would be the most high-profile bout for the Huntington, New York native.
Widely considered a national idol after becoming world champion in eight weight divisions, the Macau bout would be a test of Pacquiao’s determination to stay at the top of his sport.
His fighting skills and national fame have seen him earn fabulous wealth but he has since branched out into other pursuits, including as a Christian preacher, product endorser, television host, and elected member of the Philippine parliament.
He also plans to a coach an expansion team in the Philippines’ professional basketball league.
Pacquiao suffered two consecutive defeats in 2012 to American Timothy Bradley and Mexican Juan Miguel Marquez.
He redeemed himself somewhat in winning a Bradley rematch in April last year, following a convincing victory against another American, Brandon Rios, in November last year.
The Algieri bout means boxing fans would have to wait some more for the dream match most of them want to see – Pacquiao versus another unbeaten American, Floyd Mayweather jr.
There have been repeated efforts to negotiate such a fight but they have never prospered even as Mayweather, 37, declared that he will never face Pacquiao as long as he is promoted by Arum.
Mayweather is known to be on bad terms with Arum, his former promoter, whom he accused of shortchanging him. – Sapa-AFP