Most odds makers have pegged Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) as a 9-1 (-900) favorite with Chris Algieri (20-0. 8 KO’s) pegged as a 6-1 (+600) underdog. Now while Top Rank has done a good job in building Algieri as a somewhat credible opponent, it surely isn’t resonating with the odds makers.
While that expectation is a popular one, there are many factors that may go against just cruising. While Algieri has met Sylvester Stallone and is being called “The Real Life Rocky,” he fights nothing like him.
For starters, Algieri is 5’10” with a 72” reach per his BoxRec profile. Not only does Algieri possess reach and height, his best weapon is his jab and he works around the jab rather beautifully. The jab also slows the rhythm of his opponent which he told us at ThaBoxingVoice.com is key to slowing down Manny Pacquiao.
Also, Algieri is a boxer and can use the ring well as he showed is in the fight with Ruslan Provodnikov. He’s also proven he can get off the canvas if needed and show the heart of a champion when necessary.
Compared to other Pacquiao opponents, Algieri possesses foot speed, hand speed, and length. If you go through Pacquiao’s last 10 opponents, minus Tim Bradley, neither opponents have been quick with the feet. Yeah, many might have possessed more power but on foot, they were easy for Manny to chase and bludgeon with the exception of Juan Manuel Marquez, who did take massive lumps but his precision counterpunching was crucial in being competitive and even stopping Pacquiao last time they fought.
Pacquiao isn’t what he once was and the all-out blitzing of what we were accustomed from seeing with Pacquiao is a mere mirage. He takes off minutes in rounds.
That being said he is still elite. Algieri has never faced a guy with the hands and feet of Pacquiao. Those one minute bursts in the rounds might prove to be too much for Algieri. Provodnikov in instances was able to find Algieri and he did that without a jab and without the feet that Pacquiao possesses.
While I don’t see this is being a blowout, I still think Pacquiao should be favored. I think Algieri will give Pacquiao problems early on with his reach, feet, and length; I think Pacquiao will find Algieri late but won’t stop him. I see a close decision of 115-113 or 116-112 going to Pacquiao.