An apology to Chris Algieri
Let me start by begging the indulgence of Chris Algieri, the tall and handsome aspirant boxing star who was reduced to a slippin’ and slidin’ clown by Manny Pacquiao in Macau in November 2014.
That mismatch, noisily marketed by the tireless Bob Arum, set a record in ring ludicrousness, with Algieri falling at least six times in 12 tasteless rounds.
Sorry, Mr. Algieri that your name had to be dragged at a time when you should be enjoying your sweet time away from the boxing ring, where you honestly did not belong.
You see, this reporter had no choice but to ask around if Sen. Pacquiao’s scheduled next opponent, the undefeated Jeff Horn of Australia (16-0, 11 KOs), could be a lot better than you, Sir.
You and Horn have similarities, being both rangy and good-looking. Just like you, who brought great credentials as a former kickboxing champion into the boxing ring, Horn is a budding hometown hero who’s aching to be an instant superstar.
The latest info from Brisbane, where Horn hails, says the hometown boy has started training for his fight in April.
There’s no agreed venue yet, although Bob Arum has promised to pay Pacquiao more than the $5 million initially dangled by Australian promoters.
Anyway, unlike in your case, there’s been hissing sneers here in Manila against the choice of Horn (over Terence Crawford) as Pacquiao’s next opponent.
This could be due to the masterful marketing done for you as a Rocky-most-likely, with the help and assurance of Sylvester Stallone himself.
Pardon me, but I had no choice but ask around how good and qualified Jeff Horn is to challenge the great Sen. Pacquiao.
The best source I could turn to was the trusted credentialed international referee Bruce McTavish, a New Zealander who has been making home in Pampanga for quite some time.
We had a very brief exchange of text messages.
“Brother, you think Horn will prove any better than Chris Algieri?”
The reply was curt and cold: “Same. I judged Horn’s last fight in Aussie, pare.”
Brother Bruce did not bother to elaborate.
There’s still lot of time left to pump up the selling of the Pacquiao-Horn bout.
Will Bob Arum think of a better gimmick than sell Horn as a Rocky-most-likely?
It’s like this. Mr. Algieri failed to steal a single round in that fight against Pacquiao nearly three years ago.
In the case of Jeff Horn, there were experts who believe he would be lucky to grab a couple of rounds from Sen. Pacquiao.
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