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Thu Nov 20, 2014, 10:48 AM

Pacquiao vs Algieri

Saturday, November 22, at Macau, Chine; on HBO PPV:
Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri; 12 rounds; for Pac Man’s WBO welterweight title.


On paper, when an undefeated , 30 year old who stands 5’ 10” tall, with a 72” reach fights a 35-year old, who has been knocked out in three of his five loses, and is 5’ 6.5” tall, with a 67” reach, I’d say the young man will enter the ring with some significant advantages.

But when he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao, those advantages may be meaningless. Despite the evidence that Pac Man’s uncanny skill set has declined in recent years -- he hasn’t scored a knockout since 2009, was beaten twice in 2012, including being devastated by Juan Manuel Marquez -- he is an all-time great, who is still a great fighter.

Manny returned after the consecutive loses in November of 2013, and easily decisioned an intimidated Brandon Rios. Five months later, he avenged the controversial loss to Timothy Bradley. While it’s hard to look good against a guy who is merely trying to survive until the finally bell, Pacquiao was impressive in decision Bradley. Although Bradley won 4,4, and 2 rounds on the judges’ scorecards, and most rounds were competitive, Manny appeared in control throughout the fight.

There is a saying in boxing that a fighter can “get old” in the ring during a fight. Bernard Hopkins has stated that fighters actually “get old” in the gym, although the fans first see the effects during a fight. Those familiar with Manny’s training routine are aware that he has aged in the gym. Two former sparring partners in particular -- Amir Khan and Ruslan Provodnikov -- came to give him problems in sparring. Khan due to his size and speed; Provodnikov due to his strength and power. Both of these men have reached a point where they have expressed interest in fighting Manny.

Algieri was an undefeated, though parochial, contender who was brought in by promoters to highlight Provodnikov’s skills in June. In the first round, Algieri was floored by a hard punch, one that caused his eye to rapidly swell closed. A few seconds later, he voluntarily took a knee to clear his head. It appeared that he would be stopped by the brutal Provodnikov within a round or two.

However, by the second round, his head had cleared, and he began to anticipate what his much stronger, but slower opponent would do. It became a close, very competitive fight, that could easily have been scored in favor of either man. Algieri was awarded the 12-round decision, and became the WBO junior welterweight titlist. That victory would earn him the opportunity to become Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Other than the win, however, there is little in Algieri’s past to suggest that he belongs in the same ring with Manny. He did decision Emmanuel Taylor in February of 2014, and Taylor is a top ten contender. Taylor beat Karim Mayfield in his next fight, then lost to Adrian Broner; both are top ten contenders. But there is more than a hint of “set-up” here: Pac Man needs an impressive knockout, in order to turn the tide of his decreasing PPV sales. Bob Arum picked Algieri as a low-risk opponent, hoping to prepare Pacquiao for a big fight next spring.

If Floyd Mayweather choose to fight Algieri, he would be attacked by boxing “experts” and a large cross-section of the boxing community for picking a lamb for slaughter. Manny’s trainer, Freddie Roach, is predicting a one round knockout. Few people think that Algieri has a chance of winning.

I think that Manny should be able to close the show by the seventh round. If I were to focus on Algieri’s best chance, though, I’d look at two things. First, he does have the height and reach that could translate to big advantages, if he knows how to capitalize on them. Second, while he hasn’t fought at this level before, Algieri’s last two victories were against quality opponents. More, he has shown the intelligence and heart required to come back from adversity. He hasn’t displayed the punching power to pose a threat to knock Pac Man out, or hurt him seriously with any one blow. But he might be able to keep Pacquiao at arm’s length, make a rather slow-paced fight, and come out on top after twelve rounds.

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Reply Pacquiao vs Algieri (Original post)
H2O Man Nov 2014 OP
KamaAina Nov 2014 #1
H2O Man Nov 2014 #2

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Nov 20, 2014, 12:21 PM

1. Nice analysis, Teddy!

 

The only thing missing is an analogy to another sport. College hoops season just started, so "Algieri needs to stay outside and shoot threes, and keep Pacquiao from driving the lane."

Srsly, why doesn't one of the other cable networks bring you on as an analyst?

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 20, 2014, 01:27 PM

2. In my opinion,

the simple answer to your question is that I'm so darned ugly, I'd break their cameras. And that could become mighty expensive.

One evening, before the ESPN FNFs, my son and I met with Teddy and had a great time. As we were walking towards the arena afterwards, Teddy told some of the ESPN guys to get two seats, as he wanted us ringside with him. My son (of course!) wanted to, but I over-ruled him, as my daughter and nephew were inside waiting for us in our ringside (but further back) seats. I kind of wish I had taken Teddy up on that -- in part because my boy has never forgiven me. (grin)

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