After the uneventful plethora of mismatches that happened this past Saturday at the Barclays Center in New York, which left most people dissatisfied, boxing fans now find themselves craving for more competitive meaningful matchups.
In November we will get two high profile fights when WBA/IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard Hopkins takes on WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev and WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao takes on Chris Algieri. The first fight looks to be a match made in heaven but the second one seems to be the one in question by a lot of fans.
We are two months away from November 22 when Pacquiao and Algieri will face each other and already the fan outcry of mismatch has begun. Even the odds makers in Las Vegas aren’t giving Chris Algieri much of a chance, listing him as high as a thirteen to one underdog. Are they right? Algieri doesn’t seem to think so. Chris Algieri is no stranger to being the underdog and has upset the apple cart in his previous two fights against Emmanuel Taylor and Ruslan Provodnikov.
Race seems to play a part in boxing when describing styles. You hear terms like Mexican come forward fighter and slick black fighter. Some people have mentioned that Pacquiao has never fought a slick black fighter. Bernard Hopkins was quoted as saying it a few years back as well. Come to think of it, he’s never fought a slick white fighter either and Chris Algieri in his own right just may be that guy.
Anyone who has seen Algieri fight knows that he is not a big puncher, but he is very quick, and he likes to use a lot of movement. Ruslan Provodnikov, who got off to a quick start, found Algieri to be a very elusive slippery target in the second half of their fight when the two met up in June.
Pacquiao admittedly likes to fight guys who will sit and trade with him and doesn’t like to go looking for his opponent. He didn’t have to go looking for Tim Bradley in their rematch in April. Bradley fought an entirely different fight from when the two first met up back in 2012 and got lulled in to a toe to toe battle with Pacquiao in which he lost. It’s hard to imagine that Algieri will make that same mistake.
Algieri is five foot ten with a seventy two inch reach and has a three and a half inch edge in height and a five inch reach advantage over Pacquiao. Numbers don’t always tell the story and fights aren’t always fought and won on paper, but Algieri does have the type of style where he can exploit his physical advantages over Pacquiao. He also has a great jab and the ability to fight very effectively from the outside.
Taking everything into consideration, it’s still hard to not favor Pacquiao in this matchup, but I’m not sleeping on Algieri, and I suspect come November 22 we will see a much better fighter than those twelve to one odds suggest.