It was a valiant effort, I told Chris Algieri, after he went the distance with a man who had a massive experience edge which showed explicitly on Saturday night in Macau, and went down six times, and got up six times, once again proving that his heart is maybe the top trait in his arsenal.
“I’m very disappointed, my man,” the 30-year-old Long Islander told me.
I was pretty sure of the answer, but Algieri did say he was planning on attending medical school at some point in the future, so I figured I’d ask anyway: is he planning on fighting again?
“No doubt,” he said. “This was a learning experience. I’m fine. I’m just disappointed. Pacquiao is a great champion.”
I mean, is he just a different animal, did he possess some edge that that surprised and amazed you?
“No, he’s not a different animal,” the boxer, now 20-1, stated. “He is just super experienced and filled with intangibles which are hard to explain. He found a style that exactly works for him.”
And so was experience the greatest differential in play? “Yes, I think so,” he said. “Not to take anything anyway from Pacquiao. He is a hell of a fighter. I have more developing and learning to do.”
It looked that way from my seat; Pacquiao was just simply too cage-y for the Islander, who seemed perhaps too intent on avoiding contact, and staying on his feet, rather than looking to land with effective aggression. Of course so much easier said than done, as I tap on my keyboard with the bravery of being out of range…
Algieri pal and right hand man Kevin Rooney Jr. talked to TSS about the experience, as well. “Everyone is disappointed but no one more than Chris,” he told me. “He is his own biggest critic. It’s a learning experience and something he will grow from. He’s young, has a ton of talent, and is going to be as hungry as he has ever been. We will take time off, and then discuss as a team a plan of action moving forward and getting things back in the right direction.”
The matchmaker for Algieri promoter Joe DeGuardia is Ron Katz. He’s seen it all in four decades in the business. He weighed in on the scrap. “I knew going in this would be a monumental task for Chris,” Katz told me. “His lack of experience was evident and showed when in with one of the best in the business. I thought he did some nice things in there, especially with the right hand, but he was too predictable, stayed on the end of Manny’s punches throughout…and I’m a little baffled by the game plan. He tried his best and showed the heart and mentality of a fighter. He’ll be better from this, no disgrace, in my opinion.” Katz spoke on a subject that is rattling around the Twittersphere, the corner work at the Algieri stool. “I think maybe the whole team was a little overwhelmed once the bell rang. Pacquiao fought well and Chris was unable to adjust and kept his best weapon, the jab, in his pocket. He’s still a terrific spokesperson for the sport, Michael, and he said all the right things after the fight.”
Erislandy Lara was impressed with Manny’s outing. The Cuban, who fights Dec. 12, vs. Ishe Smith, said, “Pacquiao looked good, fast and strong. Algieri was not ready for that level, but showed big heart.”
Yep, no doubts about the heart on the Huntington Heartthrob.
Another welter contender, Andre Berto, gave his take on the proceedings. “Pacquiao did what he had to do,” the Florida resident told TSS. “Chris was in amazing shape, but fought way too defensively. You can’t win a fight that way.”
Check back for more extensive analysis on the Pacquiao-Algieri fight from The Pride of Bensonhurst, Paulie Malignaggi, the fighter/ace analyst.
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Photo Credit: Mikey Williams