Pacquiao-Algieri: Good or Great?

By Clarence George on September 4, 2014
Pacquiao-Algieri: Good or Great?
The presser did nothing to confirm or deny my firm prediction. (Chris Farina/Top Tank)

I was interviewed by a CUNY journalism student, which failed signally in bringing Top Rank or Tecate girls to my side…

Moe: What’s the matter, you scared?
Larry: No, just apprehensive.
Moe: That’s a mighty fancy word. What does that “apprehensive” mean?
Larry: It means you’re scared with a college education.
—The Three Stooges in Merry Mavericks

Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri hosted their final U.S. press conference today at the Liberty Theater in Times Square to talk about their November 22 12-round championship bout at the Venetian Resort’s Cotai Arena in Macao, China. At stake, Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title. Also present were Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, Algieri trainer Tim Lane, promoters Bob Arum, Joe DeGuardia and Artie Pelullo, and President and CEO of Sands China Ltd. Ed Tracy.

The Filipino southpaw is a 19-year vet (56-5-2, 38 KOs) who last fought this April, beating Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision. At 35, and following being sent off to join Peter Pan in Neverland by Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012, “PacMan” may not quite be what he used to be. But with the probable exception of Floyd Mayweather Jr., he remains the best welterweight alive.

A college boy who fights out of Huntington, New York, 30-year-old Algieri is a six-year pro (20-0, 8 KOs) who most recently fought in June, scoring a surprising split decision win over power-punching Ruslan Provodnikov, thus gaining the WBO junior welterweight title. But did you see his right eye? It looked like Carmen Basilio’s left following the loss of his middleweight crown to Sugar Ray Robinson back in ‘58.

I have an aversion to trash talk, but Pacquiao and Algieri were non-confrontational to the point of blandness. The Filipino anticipated a “good” fight, while the Huntington pretty boy one-upped him by predicting that it will be “great.” He also wished “the Pacquiao team all luck during training,” but not during the fight presumably. Put the lack of fire down to the boys coming off a long media tour.

Tuning out much of Arum’s palaver, I instead elicited a chortle from my fellow scribes with one or two witticisms. I was also interviewed, but don’t ask me why, by a CUNY journalism student, which failed signally in bringing Top Rank or Tecate girls, or Algieri groupies to my side. I then had a few words with WBO light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev, whose unification bout with WBA and IBF titleholder Bernard Hopkins is coming up on November 8. And more than a few with former WBC middleweight, IBF super middleweight, and WBA light heavyweight champ, and Thomas Hearns nemesis, Iran Barkley.

The presser did nothing to confirm or deny my already firm prediction for Pacquiao-Algieri: Tony Galento couldn’t lose to Lou Nova, a “bum that learned how to fight in collitch.” The same is true of Pacquiao, who’ll take this one by clear-cut unanimous decision.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2: Look Back at Pacquiao-Bradley I (HBO Boxing)



Provodnikov vs. Algieri: HBO Boxing After Dark Highlights



Iran Barkley -vs- Thomas Hearns I 6/6/88



Tony "Two-Ton" Galento -vs- Lou Nova 9/15/1939 (Restored Broadcast)



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  1. bjr 12:09am, 10/19/2014

    If Pacquiao loses to Algieri he needs to call it quits.  Algieri is fairly durable, has decent technical ability, and doesn’t take many risks.  However he is easy to hit and his jab is a joke.  He also lacks speed and I’ve tried to think of some way that he can win this fight.  I just don’t see it.  Unless Pacquiao just completely falls apart and Algieri finds power that he never has shown in the past, Manny will win easily. 

    Manny by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice).

  2. Antonio 09:50am, 09/08/2014

    Probably won’t watched this fight C.Algieri who? 8 ko’s , 20-0 against who ? Probably no one that matters. These two are definitely not on the same level not worth$50 plus Pacquiao is definitely taking an easy fight. Give me fights that are worth every penny like a Canelo/Pacquiao or Mayweather/Pacquiao.

  3. bikermike 09:13am, 09/07/2014

    Pacquaio is an
    icon ...and he is not ready to retire.  He will continue.  I feel he has nothing to prove, and could move on.
    I’m not sure he can afford to ‘move on’

  4. bikermike 09:06am, 09/07/2014

    Bob ....I have to share your prediction.  Pac has become civilized…distracted by other obligations.  He is much more than a fighter…Not as young and focussed as the young lions.

    ....I also picked Custar to beat the Indians…

  5. Clarence George 12:54pm, 09/06/2014

    Always great hearing from you, Beaujack.

    I remember the gangster in “Raging Bull” who said that Janiro “ain’t pretty no more,” following his loss to a Jake LaMotta supposedly bent on homicide, or at least mayhem.  An embellishment, I suspect, given that LaMotta didn’t stop Janiro, but won by unanimous decision.

  6. beaujack 12:26pm, 09/06/2014

    Clarence, you brought up the name of the original “pretty boy” of boxing
    Tony Janiro of Youngstown, Ohio…Tony Janiro was an amateur champion at age 16 and never went to college, but became catnip to the fair sex,
    because of his curly blond hair and good looks. Coming up he was a
    sensation as a LW prospect, so much so that I recall when Janiro fought on the undercard of the Rocky Graziano ko of Billy Arnold in MSG, 1945,
    then Vice President Harry Truman, in the audience, came to ringside and shook the then great prospect Tony Janiro’s hand…Alas Janiro never lived
    up to his potential, but had an excellent pro career nevertheless…

  7. FrankinDallas 08:45am, 09/06/2014

    Don’t know about forearms, but neither Mark Breland nor
    Hearns had massive wrists/forearms but they sure put a lot
    of people to sleep with snapping punches from the hip.

  8. Clarence George 03:20am, 09/06/2014

    Bob:  Pacquiao has a good knockout rate, but he hasn’t stopped anyone in five years, as you point out.  If the concrete-fisted Provodnikov couldn’t stop Algieri, I don’t see the Filipino doing it.

    Pacquiao’s hung around too long, and is ripe for the picking, but by Algieri?  You’re right that “All the great ones lose, and it’s almost always to someone not expected to beat them,” but Pacquiao hasn’t deteriorated to that extent and Algieri isn’t that good.  He did reasonably well and was gutsy against the Mansi, but does the Sweet Science boil in his blood?  He’s a college boy, a pretty boy with a phony playboy persona.  Who does he think he is, Tony Janiro?  But I respect your opinion, and, if you’re right, I’ll buy you a cherry lime rickey.  One thing’s for sure (anyway, likely)—if Pacquiao loses, he retires.

    Ever been to the Museum of the American Gangster?  Thinking of heading down there today.

  9. Bob 02:23am, 09/06/2014

    Clarence, Roach predicts a knockout for Pacman in every fight and we haven’t seen one in years. I believe Algieri’s a live dog, and like the fact that on one is giving him a chance. All the great ones lose, and it’s almost always to someone not expected to beat them.

  10. Galvar 04:28pm, 09/05/2014

    PAC is going to have a hard time with this one because he’s not as fast as he use to be.  Algieri got hit by wrecking ball disguised as Ruslan’s fist and got up.  Then he and with only one eye outboxed the Russian.  I still think PAC is going to win but it’s gonna be a tough fight.

  11. Clarence George 05:09am, 09/05/2014

    All respect, Bob, as I’m sure you know, but I’m very surprised by your prediction.  Pacquiao ain’t what he used to be (and, frankly, I think he’s staying too long at the ball), but I don’t see how someone as callow as Algieri can beat him.  That said, I’m not buying into Freddie Roach’s prediction (desperate to hype the fight) that Pacquiao will win by knockout.  No, I’m sticking with the Filipino by UD.

    It is indeed a PPV event, Pete, courtesy of HBO.  I agree with you completely.  While this is hardly a bad fight, I don’t see it generating much in the way of moolah.  The exhausting media tour is part and parcel of a desperate attempt to drum up interest, and I really question how effective the effort will be.

  12. Pete The Sneak 04:31am, 09/05/2014

    CG…Is this fight on PPV?...If so, just wondering what type numbers this fight would generate. Of course, Pac can always count on his legion of ‘Pac-Nuts’ to help swell the numbers a bit, but honestly, you have a not too well known guy in Algieri who was beaten pretty much from pole to pillar by Provodnikov (though Algieri did have some ‘Boxing’ moments in there), and then of course you have Pac, who still has tremendous popularity, but will it be enough…Add to that two very respectful and decent guys (no villian here),and the mix just does not bode well for a PPV ‘Event.’...Peace.

  13. Bob 04:18am, 09/05/2014

    Clarence, I’ve been on a good roll picking winners lately and, as Max Schmeling said, “I see something” in this fight. I see Algieri winning a relatively easy decision. There is something about this young man’s confidence and self-belief that is very real.  I am surprised he is being given no chance at all. AS much as I admire Pacquiao, I hope I’m not wrong, as I was when I picked Mike Tyson to stop Evander Holyfield in the first rounds. I must have “seen” something different then.

  14. GlennR 02:34pm, 09/04/2014

    I’m with you there Irish, big forearms just seem to add extra weight to punches.

  15. Eric 02:14pm, 09/04/2014

    Foreman’s forearms were big even in his prime, but were huge during his comeback years. Marciano had pretty solid looking forearms for someone that weighed less than 190lbs. Might be something to the forearm thing, but it seems punchers come in all shapes and sizes. Punchers can look like Jimmy Wilde, Butterbean, or Mike Weaver.

  16. Clarence George 02:10pm, 09/04/2014

    Irish:  He came across as nervous as a block of wood.  He exuded supreme confidence, but no hubris.  His handshake was mighty impressive—enormous strength, perfectly controlled.

  17. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:48pm, 09/04/2014

    Clarence George-What kind of vibes did you get from Kovalev? Do you think the build up and Hopkins’ mindless mind games will faze him? I believe it was Adam Berlin that wrote that his forearms and wrists are impressive and may be the secret to his UnGodly power. I’ve noticed through the years some fighters whose punches didn’t have a whole lot of speed on them still landed with a thud….guys like Danny “Indian Red” Lopez, his brother Ernie Lopez, Micky Ward, and most recently Carl Froch….they all have that physical characteristic….powerful forearms and wrists. His punches land with a thud but with the added snap that comes with speed.

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