Pacquiao shows class against Algieri, retains WBO belt
MANILA, Philippines — It was a masterful showing of boxing from Manny Pacquiao as he dominated challenger Chris Algieri to retain his World Boxing Organization Welterweight Championship during the “Hungry for Glory” at the Cotai Arena inside The Venetian Macao Sunday afternoon.
Pacquiao showed Algieri that he belonged to a different class with a convincing unanimous decision victory with two judges scoring 119-103 and the third judge having it 120-102.
Algieri was in a world of hurt and confusion as he fell to the mat six times as Pacquiao showed a relentless offense from the start of the fight.
Pacquiao sent the New Yorker tumbling to the blue mat of the ring in the sixth round with Algieri looking like a dazed kid as the referee counted to eight in the face of the challenger.
“Tonight, I did my best, I’m satisfied with my performance,” Pacquiao said after the fight. “I came to fight.”
Even sending his groggy opponent to the mat several times over, Pacquiao would put Algieri flat on his back with a massive left straight, this time Algieri was looking at high heavens for a miracle.
Pacquiao, however, was not done as he sends Algieri tumbling once more to the delight of the Pacquiao matriarch, Dionisia.
From the opening bell, it looked as if Pacquiao was just sizing up Algieri then on the second round the eight-division World Champion stepped on the higher gear and dictated the match throughout.
“Manny is not letting guys slide,” Algieri said who immediately acknowledged the better Pacquiao upon the end of the fight.
Pacquiao went into the fight saying he needed a power win to entice Mayweather to fight him. He vowed to put on a performance like some of his earlier fights and did, never letting Algieri get close.
Some of the sold out crowd of 13,202 at the Venetian Macau may have wondered whether Algieri deserved this fight, as he spent more time trying to stay away from Pacquiao than trading punches.
But while Algieri could run, he couldn’t hide. Pacquiao caught him repeatedly with power punches and dropped him as he tried to back away.
“The master boxer was given a master class by professor Pacquiao tonight,” trainer Freddie Roach said. “I was disappointed in Algieri’s performance tonight. All he did was run.”
Pacquiao’s second fight in China was held at midday to accommodate the pay-per-view sales in the U.S., but the time of day didn’t matter much to the Filipino fans who cheered on their 35-year-old national hero.
Pacquiao knocked Algieri down in the corner in the second round, though Algieri claimed it was a slip. He easily fought his way through Algieri’s tentative defense, landing punches on the inside and piling up points.
Algieri came into the fight with a reputation for his jab, but he refused to commit to it early and simply pawed at Pacquiao with his left hand. Still, Algieri’s corner somehow thought he was carrying out the game plan just the way they had drawn it up.
“You’re doing beautiful man,” trainer Tim Lane told his fighter after the third round. “Everything stays the same. Keep it up.”
By the end of the fourth round, Pacquiao had already thrown more than 100 more punches than Algieri. And Algieri rarely stopped to set his feet to punch, and kept trying to run away from the champion’s punching power.
Unfortunately for Algieri, things then went from bad to worse. Pacquiao caught him with a big left hand that sent Algieri sprawling on the canvas in the sixth round, almost turning a reverse somersault before finally landing in the corner.
Pacquiao was right back on him, and Algieri went down again late in the round as he tried desperately to survive.
Still, Algieri’s corner urged him to continue to do what he was doing, long after he needed a knockout to win.
“This is the way we want to be,” Lane told him. “This is what you wanted”
Algieri was an unlikely opponent despite being unbeaten in 20 fights after ending a kick boxing career to concentrate on boxing. He got the bout after being knocked down twice in the first round in his June fight with Ruslan Provodnikov and coming back to win a 12-round decision, and was supremely confident in the weeks before the fight that he would beat Pacquiao, too.
Oddsmakers made him a 7-1 underdog against the Filipino great, who came into determined to show he still had his punching power.
The bout was for a piece of the welterweight title held by Pacquiao, though it was fought at a catch weight of 144 pounds instead of 147. With a report from The Associated Press
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