American boxer Chris Algieri is hoping to land a big-money fight against Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao after his surprising victory over Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov last weekend in Brooklyn.
Algieri was knocked down twice in the opening round by Provodnikov, but out-boxed the Russian the rest of the way despite sustaining tremendous damage in his right eye.
He got the nod of two of the three judges to claim a split decision and become the new WBO light-welterweight title.
“I only want the big fights,” Algieri told RingTV after his fight. “We want them as big as we can get them. Ruslan Provodnikov is one of the most feared fighters in the game.”
“I just fought the most dangerous guy around for very cheap, and now, it’s time for the biggest fight that I can get, and maybe that’s Manny Pacquiao,” he added.
Pacquiao is coming off a unanimous decision victory against Timothy Bradley Jr. last April, and for a while it seemed as though he was on a collision course against Provodnikov, with whom he shares Freddie Roach as a trainer.
Algieri put a halt to those talks by upsetting Provodnikov, and believes he stands a good chance of beating Pacquiao as well.
“To be in there with a guy like Manny, definitely a future Hall-of-Famer, it would be awesome,” he said in a separate interview with Boxing Scene. “I think, stylistically, it could be a good match-up.”
“He’s another dangerous guy, but I think my style would match up well. That could be a really good possibility, but I don’t know what happens next,” he admitted.
One of Algieri’s promoters, Joe DeGuardia, hinted that Top Rank boss Bob Arum will be amenable to an Algieri-Pacquiao fight.
“I think that it’s a realistic fight. I don’t think it would be that difficult of a fight to make. Bob and I have done a lot of business,” De Guardia said in RingTV.
“Bob said, right from the get-go, that it was going to be a great fight between Algieri and Pacquiao if Algieri beat Provodnikov. Now, after this performance, that’s magnified,” he added.
“I think that Chris really showed that he’s got the credibility to be where he’s supposed to be.”
If not Pacquiao, Algieri’s team is angling for a showdown against unbeaten light-welterweight Danny Garcia, who holds a title belt as well.