Pacquiao vs. Algieri: A masterclass or a major upset?Written by Marc Livitz
Whether or not such a query has been raised within boxing circles, there are those among the tops names in the sport who feel that Manny Pacquiao's unbeaten opponent from just outside New York's five boroughs is no more than the latter.
Yesterday evening, members of Pacquiao's camp took part in a Pacquiao vs Algieri international media call to discuss next month's "Clash in Cotai II", where Manny will face off with Algieri. They'll climb into the boxing ring at around twelve noon local time in Macao, S.A.R., China on Sunday, November 23.
This is so that those of us stateside can enjoy yet another evening pay per view bout to which we're accustomed anywhere between 8 to 11pm on November 22.
Just how did Pacquiao's trainer, the incomparable hall of fame inducted Freddie Roach, assess the undefeated WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KO's)?
In his usual raw and to the point opinion, the boxing coach stated yesterday, "We've had over 30 rounds of sparring so far with some really great partners. They're all tall guys like Algieri and I think some of them are actually better than our opponent."
Does this shoot a red flare of sorts to be a reason for any "Pac Man panic" or is it simply an honest assessment of what's expected to be an easy night's work? This is now Manny Pacquiao's second fight in the archipelago region known as the "Monte Carlo of Asia", which boasts gambling revenue that tops Las Vegas somewhere near sevenfold annually.
Think (former colonial power) Portugal is kicking itself at all these days?
The cheapest ticket to hang out in the Cotai Arena is about $110, while the best of the best is about three grand.
The 15,000 seat venue in Macao, China is set to rake in the cash in a region of the world that doesn't have much of a middle class.
Monetarily speaking, an eventual powerhouse matchup between Pacquiao and a certain Las Vegas resident (by way of Grand Rapids, Michigan) could easily sell tickets at a minimum of $3,000 or more and still sell the place out many times over.
Food for thought.
Other than the obvious (green - lots of it) and not to suggest that Macao is getting the leftovers or the scraps of Las Vegas, is there a definite reason for Manny Pacquiao to begin the twilight of his career partly in China and Nevada? He could've just as easily had his April 2014 rematch with Timothy Bradley across the (biggest) pond, yet he didn't because we were relatively sure that the eight division champion would win.
Pacquiao vs Bradley 2 was in Las Vegas, not Macao.
We had a good feeling he'd walk away victorious but not with a twelve round "watch and learn" session of rearranging Bradley's face into modern art.
Miguel Cotto was KO'd by Manny Pacquiao in 2009
Fight night next month in Macao will mark one year to the day that Pacquiao treated Brandon Rios like a cross between a heavy and speed bag en route to a twelve round shutout win in the same building hosting next month's fight.
Is there much reason to think the "Clash in Cotai II" won't bear a strong resemblance to Manny's dominant performances against such names as Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito?
Think back for a moment. Those are two respective bouts when the man from General Santos City petitioned the referee on hand that night to ponder a stoppage of the action because of the punishment he'd dealt upon his opponents.
Will Pacquiao vs Algieri next month end any differently?
Legendary promoter Bob Arum was quick to heap praise upon Chris Algieri yesterday.
"If Algieri wins the fight, then there is a provision in the fight for a rematch", Arum said.
Last summer, boxing promoter Bob Arum hinted Algieri would upset Provodnikov.
"Chris is one of the most confident fighters that I've ever come across. He's very intelligent and knows what he's doing. He'd be an instant huge attraction if he won."
If Chris Algieri were to pull off the shocker, then Macao, China would indeed have a cow and make enough Patacas (local currency) to build a stadium for the rematch which would require cable cars and oxygen masks to get to the upper deck. It seems far fetched because although Algieri is indeed a brave and fully able prizefighter, his resume doesn't boast the same caliber of competition as Manny Pacquiao.
The Huntington, New York fighter showed incredible heart and determination last June when he used his ring intelligence against Ruslan Provodnikov after being knocked down twice in the opening round to gain a split decision win.
Perhaps the most telling sign of Chris's heart was the sight of his right eye growing more and more swollen and purple from the first round onward. He was smart enough to not trade with Provodnikov and use a "more is better" strategy.
More jabs led to more punches landed and his Siberian opponent was content to wait to land the home run. It didn't happen and while the bout to some was understandably a tossup, Chris Algieri got the win.
Ruslan Provodnikov later admitted that he didn't feel like chasing Algieri down during the bout, which is a trait not to be found in Manny Pacquiao.
The PacMan will be just fine with running down his eastern seaboard adversary for a full thirty six minutes, if need be. We've seen fighters essentially try to outbox Pacquiao. That tactic worked at times and it was one of his drawbacks in the early 2000's.
In November 22, invite the gang over. They'll all witness a likely masterclass by Manny Pacquiao. It's also fitting that Pacquiao vs Algieri takes place in a casino hotel. We've all seen the blackjack dealers clap twice and turn their hands towards the eye in the sky. The hotel security needs to be sure that they're clean and not looking for a lift.
Don't be shocked if Manny punches twice and turns his gloves clockwise later on in the bout for the same reasons.