This Saturday night in Macau, China, Manny Pacquiao will step into the ring to square off against the bigger and younger Chris Algieri. It’s a match that doesn’t scream “megafight“, but some members of the TFC staff feel the American can pull off the upset based on his athleticism and technical fighting style. Without further ado, here are the official TFC predictions:
Bernard Hopkins notwithstanding, once a boxer is past 35 years of age, all bets are off. That said, there’s no objective evidence to anticipate a collapse in Manny Pacquiao’s boxing skill, and in recent video clips he looks as fast as ever. Nevertheless, Chris Algieri represents a serious challenge. He’s young, hungry and confident, and he showed impressive courage in his win over Provodnikov. But while an upset would not shock me, I find it difficult to envision Algieri successfully executing everything required to pull it off. At some point Pacquiao is going to hurt the challenger and put him on the defensive, and then keep him there. Algieri will spend the rest of the match reacting to Pacquiao, as opposed to setting the terms, while Manny wins round after round. Pacquiao by unanimous decision. –Michael Carbert
Right off the bat I’ll say this: I’d pick Ruslan Provodnikov to beat Chris Algieri in a rematch. The latter did a phenomenal and unexpected job in their June 14 fight, and Algieri’s performed just as well in promoting his first PPV appearance. This is a fairytale story for the New Yorker, and despite Freddie Roach’s ludicrous comments, I think some of us are forgetting who Algieri is facing this weekend: Pacquiao, a man who has faced all manner of styles, avenged losses and beaten men who were supposed to be too big for him. A modern day legend who has enough about him, at 35-years-old and after 63 fights, to win this. Maybe I’m making things sound too simple but MP hasn’t fought a non-elite fighter since Joshua Clottey in 2010. Algieri’s 5-inch reach advantage and 3 1/2-inch height difference can keep Manny at bay for a while but the Filipino buzzsaw will be here, there and everywhere against the American. I like the Algieri story but it ends via TKO loss in the first half of the fight. –Shaun Brown
Is Chris Algieri faster than Manny Pacquiao? No, he isn’t. Can he punch harder? No, he can’t. Is his vaunted footwork better than Manny’s? No, unless the Filipino experiences leg cramps. Has Algieri fought the same level of competition? No, because his biggest win is a disputed decision over Ruslan Provodnikov, who lumbers forward like a zombie. Can he neutralize Pacquiao all night with a jab? No, because he isn’t Wladimir Klitschko and an ‘active jab’ won’t shield you from a whirlwind. Can he knock the Pacman out? No, because his fists are frail. Can he decision Manny in an Asian-based fight and thus prevent a more lucrative bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Cowboys Stadium from happening? No, because money, and to a lesser degree, Money, are the arbiters of boxing law.
Manny is still fast, he can still hit, and he can still move. Algieri is scrappy and confident but he’s a AAA-level hitter facing Pedro Martinez in the 9th. Sometimes these guys single, in extremely rare instances they homer, but mostly they strike out. Pacquiao by late round KO. –Eliott McCormick
I’ve seen a range of opinions from fight fans about this one. Some are saying that Algieri is the ‘real thing’ and point to his warrior-like performance in upsetting Ruslan Provodnikov as the proof. Others are making it clear that Pacquiao, though not the fighter he was four or five years ago, is still an exceptional talent and physical force. Full marks to Algieri for surviving a first round knockdown and the relentless pursuit of Provodnikov, but that right eye sure closed up in a hurry, didn’t it? I expect that this Saturday, Manny Pacquiao will have Algieri’s right eye swollen shut again. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Algieri suffer a cut as well.
Algieri hasn’t faced anyone on Pacquiao’s level; his resume is notably lackluster, having fought no one worthy of mention other than The Siberian Rocky. He’ll look to take advantage of his reach and his piston-like jab to keep Pacquiao on the outside. But Manny Pacquiao is not Ruslan Provodnikov. Algieri isn’t faster than the Filipino icon and won’t be able to get on his bicycle as effectively as he’d like to.
On Saturday night, Chris Algieri’s game plan will be to outbox and out-quick Manny Pacquiao. The game plan won’t work. Manny Pacquiao will counter and land power punches far too often as he proves that he’s not quite done yet. Pacquiao by stoppage in round 8 or 9. –Emile Ferlisi
Pacquiao wins by stoppage for the first time in years! Yes, Algieri has size and boxing abilities, but he doesn’t have enough on his punches to really keep Pacquiao off of him. When you look at how Manny walked De La Hoya down (taller man, comparable to Algieri) and you look at the way Manny obliterated Margarito it shows that height has never really been a problem for him. Then, if you look at Manny’s fights with Bradley, it shows that he can handle the boxing ability and the speed. While I think Algieri’s style is electrifying, I dont think he has the intangibles to overcome Manny, and gets outclassed in about every attribute other than height. Manny by decision.
I believe this fight represents the final chapter in a long, sad, melodramatic story entitled “Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The Fight That Could Not Be.” Algieri is young, in his prime, focused, confident and, as he showed against Provodnikov, tough as nails. It will be a close fight and there will be some rounds that are difficult to score, but there will also be enough rounds where the challenger keeps Pacquiao at the end of his punches and controls the movement of the fight, that two out of the three judges give the underdog his due and a close points win. Algieri by split decision. –Robert Portis
My gut-feeling here is that if Algieri can make it to the midway stage of the fight, the American’s superior height and length, coupled with his disconcerting mobility and analytical thinking, will make the task of solving the Pacquiao puzzle much simpler. Moreover, if Algieri can use his footwork and superior reach to control the distance and then time Manny’s forward bursts (easier said than done, of course), he will have a real shot at pulling off the upset.
Unfortunately, I’m not willing to go out on a limb and state with confidence that Algieri wins the fight outright. Algieri’s problems don’t begin and end with the man standing in front of him; he also has the judges, the venue, and his opponent’s promotional clout and marketability to contend with. Nonetheless, it’s been said here from day one that Algieri’s highly mobile approach will potentially be a very unaccommodating one for Pacquiao, and that the Congressman and his advisers may have severely underestimated the task at hand. –Lee Wylie (Read Mr. Wylie’s in-depth analysis of Pacquiao vs. Algieri here)
It’s baffling that there are so many reasons to not care about Pacquiao vs. Algieri yet no one at TFC is talking about it, so let me enlighten my fellow scribes. First off, the fight’s in China, a country with more portraits of Mao than fight fans. There’s also the fact Algieri–with a paltry win against Ruslan Provodnikov–is in no way deserving of a shot at one of the top two welterweights on the planet. In fact, the match is so infuriatingly unworthy in Freddie Roach’s eyes that it seems to have caused him Tourette’s. Finally, the only relevant talking points going into Saturday night are Pacquiao’s taunting of Mayweather in a Foot Locker TV ad and the fact that “secret” talks are being held about Mayweather vs Pac finally happening sometime next year. Yeah, right.
What’s lost in all the hoopla is that Pac vs. Algieri is even more irrelevant than Pac vs Rios was last year, and is in danger of becoming the Filipino’s worst selling fight since he faced Oscar. This is all with good reason, as there’s nothing to see here: Pac will steamroll Algieri, everyone will be duly impressed, and we can all go back to bumping our heads against the Great Wall on Sunday morning, when Arum and Floyd confess there were never any talks between them going on. –Carlos Ramirez H.
We can talk about styles making fights, and relative advantages and disadvantages, and discuss the impact of the venue and the jetlag on each participant until we run out of breath. But none of that would change the fact that Pacquiao is Pacquiao, and this Saturday he will be facing a very inexperienced, young fighter in his first appearance in the big show. Pacquiao’s revered handspeed and foot movement, coupled with his high activity rate and underrated defensive skills will make for a frustrating and painful night for Algieri. By the time the fight is over, Algieri’s face will look eerily similar to the way it looked after he went twelve with Provo, if he’s lucky. Pac by TKO in the ninth. –Rafael García