This past Saturday night WBO welterweight title holder Manny Pacquiao 57-5-2 (38) won an overwhelming unanimous decision over former WBO junior welterweight title holder Chris Algieri 20-1 (8), by the scores of 119-103, 119-103, and 120-102.
Algieri was down six times in the fight and never was a threat to Pacquiao once during the 12-rounds it lasted. The biggest surprise just may be that Algieri got up six times after being knocked down and Pacquiao still was forced to go the distance.
In my pre-fight Pacquiao-Algieri piece titled “Pacquiao Needs To Shock And Amaze Versus Algieri” the below paragraph was found about half way through.
“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.”
Well, after watching the fight, I think that's exactly what we saw. Algieri, aside from being all-world tough, really is a beginner. He was never a threat to Manny because he just doesn't possess a big enough punch to make Pacquiao do a single thing in the ring that he doesn't want to do. As we saw, Algieri was fighting mostly to keep from getting knocked out and worked over than he was to win.
Chris couldn't keep Pacquiao off with his jab and his right couldn't freeze Manny or make him quell his aggression. Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum knew this would probably be the case going in. The only thing that wasn't realized was the knockout that team Pacquiao relished. And the reason for that was A) Manny has regressed offensively as a fighter and B) Chris Algieri was in tremendous physical condition and has a very strong mental and physical constitution.
Pacquiao really did try for the knockout, especially during the last third of the bout. However, he no longer lets his hands go in waves and he doesn't judge range and distance as proficiently as he used to, and he neglects the body. Saturday night he was confronted by an opponent who has exactly one punch: a straight right. And it has no power or shock to it. Yet, it was enough of a weapon to slightly nullify Pacquiao that as much as he overwhelmed Algieri and distanced himself as a fighter, he just couldn't get him out of there.
Chris Algieri was perfect for Pacquiao in many ways. He went the distance without embarrassing himself, and at the same time he provided Pacquiao 36 minutes to re-boot the illusion that he's the dynamo we think of when hearing his name mentioned. When I say an illusion, it's not with the intent of suggesting he's not one of the best fighters in boxing because he still is. My point is, as much as Manny is loved and adored by a majority of boxing fans, they really only have one use for him. And that is holding on to the belief that he can be the fighter to hand Floyd Mayweather his first professional defeat. The reality is, Manny's bouts aren't much more exciting than Mayweather's lately, and he's running out of opponents, most noticeably at welterweight.
There's no news regarding Pacquiao-Algieri. The fight went exactly as most observers thought it would. Manny dominated. All there is to ponder is whether or not you felt he dominated because he was so good, or perhaps it was more so that the opponent enabled him to look untouchable?
Today, fans mostly tune in to see both Mayweather and Pacquiao fight for one reason, and that's to simulate a fight between them in their mind and then try to conclude who will win when they eventually fight. I'm still confounded by why they care so much, for the record. And yes, they will fight. I've been saying that for over five years and there's no doubt in my mind that when Floyd decides he's ready for the fight, Arum and Pacquiao will jump through whatever hoops and stipulations Mayweather and Al Haymon throw up, and sign on.
Pacquiao did what he was supposed to do against Algieri except stop him. That's nine consecutive fights that Manny has been forced to go the distance. And yes, for a fighter that made his reputation by stopping one opponent after the next, that's a little telling.
I haven't a morsel of doubt in my mind that Mayweather will lose two rounds to Pacquiao, one will be debatable, and Floyd will clearly win the other nine when they fight. For argument sake, suppose you disagree and feel Pacquiao will beat Mayweather. Okay, that's certainly plausible. Than can we at least agree that if Mayweather and Pacquiao fight in the next year or so, that if Manny is to win, the fight is going the distance and he won't stop Floyd? And if you cede that, than you also have to agree that to beat Mayweather, Pacquiao must out-box and out-think him for 12-rounds. To which I say, “Good Luck with that!”
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com