New WBO light-welterweight champion Chris Algieri is out on his own as the prime candidate to oppose Manny Pacquiao when the Filipino legend returns on November 22 at the Cotai Arenai in Macau, China.
The 30 year-old from Huntington, New York has been fancied to snare the fight since his shock victory over Ruslan Provodnikov last month, although talks are now said to be firmly underway for the contest.
Algieri has overtaken Juan Manuel Marquez in the reckoning after initial contact with the Mexican failed to produce a fifth fight between him and Pacquiao, with money cited as a big reason for negotiations falling through before they even got off the ground.
Pacquiao, 35, was keen to erase the memory of his horrific knockout defeat to Marquez in December 2012, although demands of a purse north of $15 million have forced promoter Arum to look elsewhere.
There are a distinct lack of options for Pacquiao at the moment as Marquez and old foe Timothy Bradley are off the table, with a proposed encounter against Provodnikov also scuppered when Algieri took the Russian’s title.
That leaves the American to prepare for a step up to welterweight as Arum and Oscar De La Hoya have yet to figure out a way forward regarding TV and sponsorship to pit Top Rank and Golden Boy stars in the same ring.
Arum had told WBN that he was awaiting a list from De La Hoya on who would be available to tackle Pacquiao in his 64th bout, something that has seemingly been tougher to work out than first expected.
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