There is an old saying in boxing that the last thing to go in a fighter is his power. This is generally more evident in fighters in the heavier weight classes, typically in the heavyweight division.
So much has been said about Manny Pacquiao not having a knockout in over five years. People have attributed it to Pacquiao possibly losing his power. Some have said that it’s because he’s lost his killer instinct and others have claimed that he has just slowed down due to wear and tear over a long career. Whatever the case may be, the statistics are what they are and can’t be refuted.
This isn’t the first time that we have seen this happen in boxing. As a fighter gets older and moves up in weight their knockouts seem to dissipate. Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather are prime examples of this.
Will the KO drought end tonight when Pacquiao steps in against the mobile and elusive Chris Algieri tonight? That seems to be the million dollar question going into this fight. The majority of people are going with Pacquiao but they just aren’t sure how he will get the job done.
We’ve seen Algieri get up from two first round knockdowns in his last fight against the heavy handed Ruslan Provodnikov and end up winning a decision. The fact of the matter is Provodnikov is no Pacquaio. Although he may hit harder, his hand and foot speed are light years slower than Pacquiao’s and as a result Algieri was able to adjust and time his power shots. It will be much different tonight against Pacquiao when he has a whirlwind coming at him throwing punches from all angles.
As mentioned earlier, Pacquiao may not posses Provodnikov’s power but he still is a very sharp puncher and throws much quicker combinations. His volume is also much greater as well. You can say what you want about Algieri’s height and reach advantage as well as his very effective jab, but will that be enough to time and slow down the quicker Pacquaio?
Historically Pacquiao has had more trouble evading right hands as opposed to jabs and left hooks, so left hand dominant fighters have not had much success against him, and I put Algieri in that class. It’s just very hard to keep Pacquiao at bay without an effective sharp right hand.
Taking all of that into account, it’s hard to pick against Pacquiao in this matchup in my opinion, but the question still remains: Will Algieri make it to the final bell? Will that right eye close again when Pacquaio lands repeated left hands on it? If Algieri decides to keep his left hand low which he has a tendency to do, it will be an open invitation for a Pacquaio straight left. If he decides to put his hands up high on the side of his face in an ear muff type fashion like he also has a tendency to do, this will be an open invitation for looping shots around the guard that can take their toll.
Pacquaio is fighting in a more cerebral way nowadays and some of the recklessness that he has employed in the past, that was often confused as aggressiveness, is now gone but if Algieri’s eye swells up in this fight worse than it did in the Provodnikov fight or he finds himself ear muffed up on the ropes taking unanswered shots, a stoppage victory for Pacquaio is not out of the question.