Bless that Tim Lane, he was still optimistic, still trying to project the image of the captain in charge of the ship even while water was being baled from iceburg tears.
The trainer for Chris Algieri was still, in round nine, after four knockdowns, believing in his kid, thinking he’d be able to turn the tide, and give Pacquaio some bad medicine. He told HBO analyst Max Kellerman as much during the ninth.
Max: “Was there an idea that after four rounds something changes?”
“What was gonna change?”
“I’ll tell you after,” Lane said. “He’s going to put him to sleep here in a few minutes. I’m going to let him go, I’m gonna let him go in one more round… I got him in the cage right now. Time to unlock the cage…,” he said.
The analyst pressed, “The plan is to have Algieri knock Pacquiao out?”
“Yes. But I still got him in the cage. He listens to me very well, I’m gonna let him lose in a couple rounds.”
“Round ten or eleven.”
And then fate and irony balled up their fists and unleashed a corker.
Down went Algieri, for knockdown number five. He was up at nine plus. He battled and then got basted, and took a knee. And arose, and showed, again, what might be the most impressive trait he possesses as a fighter: his heart. He was in fact buzzed, and nobody would have looked askance at the kid if he couldn’t get up for ten. But he’s a fighter, and fighters fight…they take on the sternest tests, and even when fate and men with more punitive fists than yours lace into you, you’re a fighter, and you don’t quit. Lane deserves some props for optimism in the face of some harsh winds of futility, and Algieri for seeing this thing through.