“Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance.” Manny Pacquiao
By Alex P. Vidal
IN terms of style and skills, Chris Algieri, 30, pales in comparison to Manny Pacquiao, 35.
Experience wise, the difference is like an automobile and a pushcart.
Algieri (20-0, 5 KOs) joined prizefighting at 23 while Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) has been boxing as a pro since 15.
He was an amateur boxer at 9 in Gen. Santos City.
Algieri, five feet and 10 inches, has a KO of 40 percent while Pacquiao, five feet and six inches, tots a KO of 60.32 percent.
Judging from his record, Algieri does not possess a one-punch KO power.
Pacquiao has demolished more than a dozen fighters with a single blow.
Because of his longer reach, Algieri is expected to use a two-fisted assault (jab-straight combination) to prevent brawler Pacquiao from penetrating his breadbasket when they clash for the 12-round WBO welterweight title at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort in Macao on November 22.
The same tactic Algieri used when he survived two knockdowns in the first round en route to escaping with a 12-round split decision against Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on July 14, 2014.
Criticized for his failure to score a knockout win since 2009, Pacquiao knows he badly needs a stoppage victory in Macao to convince his fans he isn’t yet over the hill.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum picked the unbeaten but inexperienced Algieri to make sure Pacquiao will satisfy the bloodthirsty fight fans.
But Team Algieri thinks the big break is more than a blessing in disguise for the previously unknown former world kickboxing champion.
Algieri himself believes his come-from-behind win against Provodnikov was not a fluke.
He foresees Pacquiao’s ending in the 10th canto on a technical knockout (TKO).
But Algieri’s record does not indicate he can easily eat alive fighters of Pacquiao’s caliber.
All his eight KO victims were either patsies or dishwashers. No big names; all small fries: Ken Dunham (TKO3), Rakeem Carter (TKO4), Clarence Smith (TKO1), Eric Rodriguez (TKO3), Julias Edmonds (TKO4), Winston Mathis (TKO3), Wilfredo Acuna (TKO7).
Pacquiao, on the other hand, has demolished some of the most destructive fighters in the world en route to collecting eight world crowns in eight different divisions.
Tall fighters like Algieri are actually Pacquiao’s favorite hitting targets.
The hard-hitting Filipino superstar can stop an opponent with a body attack. He is trained to assault even a dinosaur and an elephant in the square jungle.
The congressman from Mindanao also loves to rumble against opponents who move forward and engage him in waterfront brawl.
Algieri will avoid this type of war, of course.
As the defending champion, Algieri is expected to make a lot of lateral movements and will not press the fight.
Pacquiao will be coming out like a house on fire in the first three stanzas.
The longer the fight develops, the more that Pacquiao becomes dangerous.
At the back of his mind, only a knockout win will redeem his name after six victories, all by decision, interrupted only by a split decision defeat to Timothy Bradley on June 9, 2012 and an embarrassing 6th round KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8, 2012.
A mistake by Algieri in the first three rounds could end the fight by a quick knockout once Pacquiao is able to connect with a left hook, the same punch that sent Algieri to the canvas for a mandatory eight count in the first round against Provodnikov.
Algieri was sent to Macao to be massacred.