By NICK GIONGCO
Just a month ago, Chris Algieri was a guy who casual boxing fans didn’t even know existed.
Even though he is a college-educated fellow from a middle-class background in Long Island, New York, Algieri never thought in his wildest dreams that a whopping $1.5-million paycheck would land on his lap.
“It’s surreal,” Algieri told the Bulletin in a recent interview that was made possible by his publicist Bernie Bahrmasel, promoter Joe DeGuardia and Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
Algieri had just agreed to face Manny Pacquiao in a world welterweight title fight set Nov. 23 in Macau and the 30-year-old fighter acknowledges that he is trying to adjust to his newfound celebrity status.
When he made heads turn last month with a victory over one-time Pacquiao sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov, Algieri was guaranteed a career-high $100,000.
Against Pacquiao in November, he will get 15 times more than the purse he received by carving out a split decision over the rugged Provodnikov.
Algieri said he won’t splurge on buying a house and lot or even going on a vacation to some exotic place.
Not even replacing his old and reliable Honda Accord is on his list of priorities.
“I am not even a car guy,” he said.
Algieri said what he is focusing right now is preparing the blueprint for Pacquiao’s downfall with the help of his training team.
Algieri said he has the perfect style for somebody like Pacquiao and he is reserving a portion of his purse for the recruitment of high-quality sparring partners.
Still, Algieri could not help but express amazement over the sudden turn of events in his life, saying he feels “honored” that he has been given the chance to face and beat a legend in the 35-year-old Pacquiao.