SAN DIEGO, November 22, 2014 – Superior speed, skills and ring generalship in Macau Saturday showed why eight-time world champion Manny Pacquiao is still one of the most exciting fighters in the ring.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) controlled every round of his fight with Chris Algieri (20-2, 8 KOs), scoring six official knockdowns in multiple rounds and winning a lopsided shutout unanimous decision. Two judges scored it 119-103, the third 120-102.
“Tonight, I did my best,” said Pacquiao, laughing in the ring after the fight talking to HBO’s Max Kellerman. “”We improved our strength, we started earlier in training camp, I was very confident to win, I’m in shape.” Pacquiao admitted he was looking for the knockout, but didn’t want to get careless and overconfident.
Algieri may be called “The Fighting Collegian,” but he failed the final exam from The Boxing Professor. Algieri could not handle Pacquiao’s speed and his ability to throw a punch from multiple angles. All fighters end up looking slow compared to Manny. Pacquiao neutralized Algieri’s ability to move by cutting off the ring as well as he ever has. Without anywhere to go, Algieri’s lack of experience left him nowhere to hide.
“The plan was to fight four first rounds, I knew he would come on strong… Manny is the best in the world at fighting like Manny Pacquiao, said Algieri after the fight. “The plan was to get into the later rounds without incurring too much damage and land shots that would hurt him. Just because I don’t have a lot of knockouts don’t mean I can’t hurt him… I think I caught him with a few shots that made him think. Manny is not letting guys slide, he is throwing bombs and trying to get guys out every round.”
What re-emerged in this fight was the Pacquiao killer instinct. You could see in his eyes early on that he wanted a knockout for his fans. He hasn’t scored one since 2009. He’ll have to wait for 2015, but the consolation prize of six knockdowns wasn’t half bad.
The first knockdown in Round 2 looked more like a slip by Algieri after taking a strong left jab. Pacquiao scored a legitimate knockdown in Round 6, sending Algieri rolling backward. The knockdown in Round 8, although again it looked like a slip on slick logo paint after Algieri took a punch. Algieri was down again twice in the ninth and once in the tenth, the best of the six knockdowns. Algieri said after the fight the last knockdown in the tenth was the only true and legitimate knockdown as the pair traded left hooks.
So Pacquiao didn’t get the knockout he wanted, but he got what he needed: to dominate Algieri and show off the skills that made him a star.
Give Algieri credit for being tough, but give trainer Tim Lane the black eye for what seemed like a ridiculous game plan, sitting back for the first few rounds and letting Pacquiao tire himself out, then going in for the kill. Lane was talking with HBO’s Max Kellerman about letting Algieri “out of the cage” when Pacquiao knocked him flat on his back. He’ll have a lot of explaining to do in the weeks to come.
Now the inevitable discussion begins about a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao said after the fight he’s ready to fight Floyd next year, but Mayweather doesn’t need to risk his legacy on this megafight and he won’t. Simple as that, it’s not happening people.
If Pacquiao goes back to the light welterweight division at 140 pounds, and if the Top Rank vs. Golden Boy cold war really is ending, perhaps we’ll see Pacquiao fight Danny Garcia. Terence Crawford isn’t quite ready, nor is HBO ready to put their rising star at risk. I wouldn’t mind seeing Pacquiao take down Adrien Broner.
The undercard fights were all entertaining if lopsided fights. Most impressive was Chinese flyweight Zou Shiming (6-0, 1 KO), who showed newfound punching power and confidence in his dominating win over Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym of Thailand (27-1, 12 KOs) in the flyweight division. Shiming scored the first ever knockdowns against the Thai fighter and thrilled his Chinese fans.
It was a good night for Top Rank’s stable of up and coming stars. Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine (3-1,1 KO) showed why fans love to watch him fight. He hurt his left hand in the middle of his bout against Chonlatarn Pirpiyapinyo of Thailand (52-2, 33 KOs) but still won every round in defense of his WBO lightweight title fighting with just one hand. Lomachenko is a smart fighter with pinpoint accuracy and the confidence of a champion. If he doesn’t end up on a top 10 pound for pound list in 2015 it won’t be much longer.
Jessie Vargas of Las Vegas (27-0, 9 KOs) took more of a beating than he expected but still won his fight with Antonio DeMarco of Mexico (31-4-1, 23 KOs) with relative ease for the WBA world super lightweight title. Vargas couldn’t quite close the fight after either of his two knockdowns of DeMarco. Vargas is now being trained by former champion Roy Jones Junior and the combination seems to be a good match, with Vargas showing significant improvement in his punching skills and decision making in the ring.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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