Boxing Preview: All Eyes on Macau and Pacquiao vs Algieri

manny-pacquiaoThe much talked about Manny Pacquiao versus Chris Algieri WBO World Welterweight title showdown will be this Saturday night (Nov. 22, 2014) in Macau, China. The line has favored Pacquiao by a wide margin (-900) for a long time, and Algieri is paying back at (+600). Sometimes in boxing, a fighter comes along with a compelling story that captures people’s imagination. That seems to be Chris Algieri for this fight, as he has been cast as the underdog since the very beginning and it is a role that not only suits him, and he appears to be more than comfortable there. Algieri was an undefeated kickboxing champion before crossing over into the boxing world, and he has improbably run his record to (20-0) to earn this shot at Pacquiao. What makes Algieri dangerous in this fight is his calmness. He has been cast as the underdog who shouldn’t win many times before and despite the heat of the spotlight and the attention this fight is generating, Algieri has seemed incredibly comfortable. He faced practically this same script in his last fight, back in June against Ruslam Provodnikov. Algieri is from New York, and the fight was at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, so Algieri had that going for him, but he was a huge underdog and not expected to win. Provodnikov was a feared Russian who was defending the WBO belt he had just earned by stopping Mikey Alvarado, no small feat. Prior to that, he went twelve rounds with Tim Bradley at welterweight for his only defeat. Provodnikov was looking to fight Pacquiao next and this was just a stop over. Well, with Top Rank’s Bob Arum in attendance, Algieri earned a hard fought Split Decision win, getting off the mat twice in the first and surviving a badly swollen eye to get through the fight. Algieri’s magic was enough to parlay into this shot at Pacquiao, which financially and career-wise is a game changer. What can be said about Pacquiao? At (56-5-2) his legacy in the sport is sealed, but at this point he is obligated to keep winning. It’s really financial at this point, as Pacquiao’s built an empire that requires a lot of cash flow. Though he has trimmed down his entourage a bit and become a bit more low key in his lifestyle, Pacquiao still has pressure to keep himself at the top of boxing’s pay scale. Pacquiao as a huge favorite here has led to renewed talk of a mega-match with Floyd Mayweather. Now that talk has been going on for almost a decade now, but both men appear to need each other more and more to stay on top. That big match, and possibly Pacquiao’s standing as a top three draw in the business would all come apart with a Pacquiao loss. And Pac-man has a lot of distractions still outside of boxing, such as his political career and his recent attempt at playing pro-basketball. Through all that, Algieri takes it all in, and he is fully focused on the task at hand. For all of Pac’s skill, Algieri is going to enjoy a big height and reach advantage and he has the active volume punch that could make the judges think if Algieri gets his game off.

Written by Miguel

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