Manny Pacquiao will return to China for his next fight, taking on Chris Algieri in the gambling enclave of Macau.
The scheduled Nov. 22 fight for a piece of the welterweight title held by Pacquiao comes a year after the Filipino headlined the first big fight card there with a win over Brandon Rios. Promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao will likely fight at least once a year in Macau the rest of his career.
“It’s almost like fighting at home so it’s a major advantage for Manny,” Arum said. “Plus if he fights in Macau he’s not subject to U.S. income taxes, which are 39.5 percent.”
Arum said the fight won’t sell as well on pay-per-view in the U.S. as it would if it was in Las Vegas, but that will be offset by lower taxes on Pacquiao’s purse and a bigger site fee from the Venetian hotel-casino. He said plans are also in place to sell the fight on TV in China, where Pacquiao is becoming better known.
“We hope to make up for any shortfall with the pay-per-view in China,” Arum said. “The market is huge and we’re going to sell it for like four dollars.”
Pacquiao returns to Macau on a two-fight winning streak that began last September with his win over Rios. Before that, he had lost a disputed decision to Timothy Bradley and was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.
Algieri, a former kick boxer from New York, is unbeaten in 20 fights with eight knockouts, and won a split decision last month over Ruslan Provodnikov in a light welterweight title fight that got him the shot against Pacquiao. He is little known even in boxing circles, but Arum said he brings a lot to the promotion.
“He has a lot of things going for him. He’s a college graduate, good looking kid, a good boxer,” Arum said. “There’s a lot of stuff that makes him very saleable.”
Pacquiao’s options for opponents have been limited in recent years. Floyd Mayweather Jr. refuses to fight him, and until Oscar De La Hoya regained control of Golden Boy Promotions, his company was not allowing any of its fighters – including England’s Amir Khan, among others – to fight any of Arum’s Top Rank boxers.
The lack of compelling matchups has hurt pay-per-view numbers, too, with both Pacquiao and Mayweather not faring as well as expected in selling their last fights.
Arum said he believes Algieri will be accepted as a credible opponent despite his relative lack of knockout power, and that fans in Macau will embrace Pacquiao again.
“Boxing is doing well in Macau. It’s something new for them and we give them a presentation they haven’t seen before,” Arum said. “It’s the same as in Vegas, except it’s on steroids.”