Pacquiao Needs To Shock and Amaze Versus Algieri

What do the names Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, and Timothy Bradley have in common? If you need more than a fleeting moment to answer that, you are not even a quasi-boxing fan. Those names represent Manny Pacquiao’s opponents in his last eight fights. He fought Marquez and Bradley twice each, and went 2-2 in those four bouts.

Not only have the six fighters listed above shared the ring with Pacquiao, every one of them went the distance with Manny and Marquez stopped him. Pacquiao hasn’t won by stoppage since he TKO’d Miguel Cotto on November 14, 2009. That’s five years and one week. Granted all six of the fighters mentioned have an upper-tier beard, but only Marquez was really shook and looked unsteady before he knocked Pacqioao out with a counter right hand in their last meeting.

This weekend Pacquiao 56-5-2 (38) will fight New York’s Chris Algieri 20-0 (8) in a 144 pound catchweight bout. Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title will be on the line. Most see Algieri as a sacrificial lamb because of his lack of experience. He’s also not much of a puncher and other than his reach and toughness, isn’t expected to go the distance with Manny like his six past opponents have. It’s been mentioned how Algieri’s height and reach will present Pacquiao some difficulty. Algieri is 5′ 11″ and for a guy weighing 144 pounds has a reach one inch longer than Mike Tyson’s and only one inch shorter than Joe Frazier’s. Algieri’s 72 inch reach is something he’ll have to utilize if he is to have a remote chance of beating Pacquiao.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m having a real hard time getting enthused about this fight and even Pacquiao lately. I love and respect him and all that he’s accomplished as a fighter, but at this point, I’ve seen everything he has to offer competitively. But his electrifying performances against David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto seem so long ago. Manny used to thrill viewers with his with non-stop aggression and volume punching from Aaron Pryor-esque angles on his way to stoppage wins. Sure, Clottey, Margarito and Mosley were all bigger than him and expecting Manny to walk through them wasn’t realistic. But Marquez, Bradley and Rios aren’t noticeably bigger than him.

Pacquiao is wrongly held to a higher standard than Floyd Mayweather by boxing fans and media, but that’s the way it is. And the reason for that is because of the contrast in their fighting styles, and it’s easy to fall into that trap. No one watches Floyd hoping to see him win by stoppage or put somebody away like Sugar Ray Leonard did on some of the halcyon nights of his early career. When they watch Mayweather, they expect to see clean punching and defense, and for the most part he has delivered. Floyd has only scored one stoppage win since 2009, and that occurred when Victor Ortiz foolishly looked to the referee with his hands down and Mayweather nailed him with a legal and perfectly placed left-hook to the chin.

However, Pacquiao is a different story. His persona has been forged on speed and power with many of his fights ending dramatically and memorably. Public interest has dissipated some and his promoter Bob Arum knows it. Arum’s job is to keep the public’s interest in Manny until he fights Mayweather. Notice the rumors circulating about how Pacquiao may fight Amir Khan next or how he may go back down to lightweight.

Algieri is a beginner and Manny is a seasoned pro. On paper Pacquiao should take Chris apart and beat him convincingly. Manny and trainer Freddie Roach want a knockout in this fight in the worst way possible, with the hope being a memorable showing will have fans talking about how he’s again one of the best fighters in boxing. I’m not so sure that he’ll win that decidedly, but if he does, the interest in Pacquiao will escalate again. The talk will be that he’s hungry and is the fighter to hand Mayweather his first loss. But the reality is Pacquiao has regressed more than a little. This bout was made to create the illusion that he hasn’t. I don’t think this fight will tell us anything about where Pacquiao truly is, as Algieri was brought in to make Manny look like a killer.

Actually, there is more pressure on Pacquiao in this fight than most realize. The fact that he is supposed to beat up and bust up Algieri more than Provodnikov did is an added burden that he’s carrying. Wining isn’t enough. He must shine and resemble the offensive machine he once was. If he does get the intended sensational knockout, most will be awed and impressed. Then again, there will be those who will say that’s what he should do against an inexperienced fighter like Algieri.

Win or lose this weekend against Chris Algieri, Pacquiao’s career will continue. If the unthinkable happens like it did the first time he fought Timothy Bradley, he’ll still get the fight with Mayweather. In fact, losing to Algieri would virtually guarantee it. Nothing will derail Mayweather-Pacquiao, with only one exception, and that is if Mayweather loses before they fight, and that’s highly unlikely.

As for what will happen this weekend when Pacquiao and Algieri finally touch gloves, I have a feeling that Algieri is going to put up a good fight for however long it lasts but he will not win. If Manny wins in an impressive fashion, which he desperately needs to, the drumbeat for him and Floyd to fight will get louder. If he struggles but wins, it’ll be quiet for awhile until Mayweather fights again. And if Algieri upsets Pacquiao, Mayweather’s next opponent has been created. Yes, Mayweather-Algieri will be very easy to sell and hype if Chris beats Manny. And finally, after Mayweather decisions Algieri, he’ll fight Pacquiao and the biggest faux super fight in history will be realized.

The best scenario for the immediate future is this: Manny must shock and amaze the boxing public and defeat Chris Algieri decisively.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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COMMENTS

-amayseng :

Or does he? Floyd's last performance was a bore. His performance before that was exciting for 7 rounds as Chino roughed him up and wrestled him into excitement. Manny's last two performances against Rios and Bradley were both exciting and good displays as he peppered them both. Though an exciting PPV is certainly hopeful.


-Froggy :

I think that if Pacquiao wins by a KO there are lots of people who will neither be shocked or amazed !


-Radam G :

I think that if Pacquiao wins by a KO there are lots of people who will neither be shocked or amazed !
I think that you hit it. Those lots of people aren't susceptible to put ons. C-Al will be gone -- knocked da double fudge out -- before high noon on Sunday in Macau. Holla!


-amayseng :

I think that you hit it. Those lots of people aren't susceptible to put ons. C-Al will be gone -- knocked da double fudge out -- before high noon on Sunday in Macau. Holla!
I just dont get why fight CA and then possibly Vargas next. This is the near finale to Pac's stellar career, why waste two fights on these guys? What a waste. Pac should move up and fight Cotto at 160 for the legit mw title. For one he can come in at 145 and still beat Cotto, and secondly he will make Floyd look terrible for not taking the risk.


-elijahmendiola :

Sir Frank you are right, he must shock and amaze the boxing world to enhance his waning popularity and bag the Mayweather fight. A so so win would certainly not generate the attention and PPV numbers needed to force the two networks to sponsor the supposed to be big fight.


-Gabrielito :

Bob Arum wants Vargas next. Arum took Vargas from Mayweather. Vargas is less known than Algeiri for F__s sake, but that doesn't stop fans from repeating that Vargas is next. Vargas was lucky to get wins over Mauricio Hererra and Josesito Lopez if memory serves. Floyd once said (paraphrasing) if Pacquaio can beat Jessie Vargas we can talk.


-Radam G :

Bob Arum wants Vargas next. Arum took Vargas from Mayweather. Vargas is less known than Algeiri for F__s sake, but that doesn't stop fans from repeating that Vargas is next. Vargas was lucky to get wins over Mauricio Hererra and Josesito Lopez if memory serves. Floyd once said (paraphrasing) if Pacquaio can beat Jessie Vargas we can talk.
Jessie Vargas is no long with May weather. Vargas is now trained by Roy Jones Jr. Holla!


-The Commish :

The only reason 99% of the boxing world is going to be shocked and amazed is because Chris Algieri is coming home from Macau as a 21-0 fighter. -Randy G.


-Froggy :

Sir Frank you are right, he must shock and amaze the boxing world to enhance his waning popularity and bag the Mayweather fight. A so so win would certainly not generate the attention and PPV numbers needed to force the two networks to sponsor the supposed to be big fight.
I agree with you but also the better Pacquiao looks the less interested Mayweather will be !


-kidcanvas :

that makes sense frank, once pacquiao is completely shot only then will floyd take the fight . thats his mo anyway