Bob Arum is out of the office for a few days so I checked in with Carl Moretti of Top Rank to see if Chris Algieri snagged the next Manny date off of his glowing showing against Ruslan Provodnikov on Saturday night in Brooklyn, when he showed Gatti chutzpah and the heart and style of a purist pugilist in boxing his way to The Siberian Rockys' 140 pound crown.
Moretti, after chiding me for not watching soccer like the rest of the planet, told me that Algieri is certainly in the mix to fight Manny, but that it is too early to have any kind of a handle on what the Congressman will do next.
"I don't know if a star was born Saturday night but it sure was an intriguing fight," he told me, "and he showed a lot of grit and determination. Why not throw him in the Manny sweepstakes? Why not him?"
Indeed. I queried Moretti if he didn't think Ruslan wasn't in top grade form, that he lacked some snap…and posited the possibility that holding up the A side, and all the media grind in the weeks leading up to the event, didn't sap him some. Balderdash, Moretti said. Give the Long Islander fill credit and stop searching for exculpatory evidence to let Ruslan off the hook, he thundered.
The bout, he acknowledged, did cement a train of thought in the TR office, that Ruslan does have limitations, and that Algieri is better than some thought going in to the face-off. Also, that this style of fight doesn't play to the Siberian's strengths…
And who is the real Ruslan, the FNF guy of the budding star? That will be better answered when he signs for his next fight, and we see that outing, Moretti said.
Oh, and how did the Jersey native score it? "I could score three ways if I watched it three different times," he said.
Moretti said he thinks Algieri will look to go another route than a rematch, and I think Ruslan las made clear he'd rather be paired with traders, so I feel like it's safe to assume they won't tangle again…but this is the theater of the unexpected…
Moretti is headed to Cali to check out the Lomachenko-Russell Jr. bout, which he called "a coin flip fight. It is extremely intriguing."
We joked that Loma could be the best 1-2 fighter in the world on Sunday morning and Moretti cracked that he will no doubt be "the richest 1-2" boxer if he loses to the fleet-fisted Haymon fighter.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV