LONDON (Nov 21) – Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao believes that Chris Algieri is the most dangerous opponent of his career.
The all-action Filipino has shared the ring with some of the biggest names in world boxing including the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto but now faces what he thinks is his trickiest test in the unbeaten Algieri, live on BoxNation this weekend.
A factor in the New Yorker’s favour leading up to the fight has been his notable size advantage and WBO welterweight world champion Pacquiao is of the belief that combined with Algieri’s slick skills it will prove a difficult task when they do battle.
“Chris Algieri poses many puzzles for me to solve. In terms of his height and reach, only Antonio Margarito surpasses him in the scope of opponents I have faced. Algieri is also the most scientific, fluid and fittest fighter I have ever opposed,” said Pacquiao.
“All of those factors, plus he is five years younger than me, make him the most dangerous opponent of my career.
“To me, boxing is a lot like chess. You don’t just move a piece and wait for your opponent to respond, you have to see the board and think 10 to 12 moves ahead and anticipate the variables your opponent may counter with. Algieri does that and he does that very well,” he said.
Prior to this summer the 30-year-old Algieri was unknown amongst the wider boxing community but his unexpected win over WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov made everyone sit up and take notice.
Going into the fight he was expected to put up little resistance against his feared opponent but upset the odds by scoring a gallant points victory, his courageous performance something which did not go unnoticed by the great Pacquiao.
“If you look at his recent fights – against Mike Arnaoutis, Emanuel Taylor and Ruslan Provodnikov – each victory for him was considered an upset.
“Yet Algieri never considered himself an underdog, he went into each fight confident and with the right game plan and no matter what happened in the ring, he was disciplined enough to stay with that game plan. And it worked. He outfought them and out-thought them,” said a wary Pacquiao.
“Algieri’s reach and height will require me to work on closing the distance with him in the ring and I will need my speed more than ever to be able to score damaging blows to him while avoiding his own counters.
“I watched him fight Provodnikov and he fought the perfect fight against him. But I do not intend to fight Algieri’s fight. I intend on fighting my fight and more importantly, making him fight my fight,” he said.
Once again the odds are heavily stacked against the former world champion kickboxer Algieri but overcoming adversity is something which he thrives on and puts down to his mental ability.
“My 10th pro bout against Julius Edmonds I went into the fight with a sore right hand and then broke my left hand in the second round. Finding a way to win has always been a major part of my style and strategy,” said Algieri.
“I didn’t even tell my coaches I was injured until after the fight. I finished the fight with a fourth round knockout and that truly was one of the biggest obstacles if not the biggest I have ever had to overcome.
“And let’s not forget my previous fight against Ruslan Provodnikov. I made a mistake in the first round and I paid for it. I was forced to pay the price and fight the remainder of the fight with a badly swollen eye. But, I still found a way to win.
“Sticking to the game plan, and staying focused in times of adversity, that’s what separates me from other fighters. My mental make-up and my mental strength has always been the difference in my fights, and that’s what will propel me to victory against Pacquiao,” he said.
Pacquiao vs. Algieri is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD, Virgin 546, TalkTalk 525) this Saturday night. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.