New Yorker Chris Algieri will be a longshot when he goes up against perennial fan-favorite Manny Pacquiao.
Despite being undefeated, Algieri will be heavy underdog against the ‘older’ 35-year old Pacquiao who will be defending his World Boxing Organization welterweight title.
Many boxing analysts say the 30-year might just have enough ring intelligence to offset Pacquiao’s overall ringmanship. And if he uses his decided height advantage, he could inflict Pacquiao another decisively, if not close, loss.
And he might have the tool to do a Morales déjà vu when the Mexican outfought, out-punched and outwitted Pacquiao to score a unanimous decision in their first fight in 2005.
Watching Algieri keeps his opponents at bay with his left jobs reminded me of Morales. He matches it with an above average footwork and the ability to adjust to the situation – round per round.
His main weaknesses are in the power department and relative inexperience. Algieri has only fought 20 times and although he has yet to suffer a loss, he only has stopped 8 of his opponents.
Not an impressive record when you are facing arguably the best ‘small welterweight’ in the planet today.
Until he carelessly got caught by the Hail Mary punch of nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao ran a string of 21 incredible fights without being sent to the canvass – and those fights are against the heaviest punchers in their respective divisions. That fact does not bode well for Algieri.
Pacquiao also does very well against taller opponents. Ask Oscar de la Hoya and Antonio Margarito who are as tall if not taller than the 5’10” Algieri. Those two are also heavy punchers although not as quick as Algieri. That fact does not augur well against Algieri.
Pacquiao has also long ago solved the Morales jab puzzle when he twice demolished the Mexican in their rematches en route to TKO victories. His main weapon may not be enough to pull an upset. That should worry Algieri.
Algieri may be quick, but not as quick as Timothy Bradley and Shane Mosley to be able to run away from and frustrate Pacquiao. Algieri has kissed the canvass before – against Ruslan Provodnikov, a Pacquiao sparring partner. It could be a short trip to dreamland for Algieri.
Pacquiao, whose last stoppage win was against Miguel Cotto exactly 5 years to this month, may be ripe for another knockout win.