Much of the public expects Manny Pacquiao to have an easy time in his next fight. The welterweight is a heavy favorite over Chris Algieri in their Nov. 22 bout, and Floyd Mayweather’s recent post-fight interview included questions about taking on Pacquiao, even though PacMan has another opponent in two months.
Algieri is not among the biggest names in the sport, but he told International Business Times that he fully expects to beat Pacquiao in China. The 35-year-old Filipino icon is well aware of the challenges that Algieri presents, and he knows a win is no guarantee,
“I’m not taking Algieri lightly,” Pacquiao said, via BoxingScene. “He’s taller than me and moves around the ring with savvy. That’s why I started my training early.”
Pacquiao is close to four inches shorter than the 5’10 Algieri, and he has a reach that is six inches shorter than his opponent. The champ isn’t accustomed to facing such tall fighters, taking on the likes of Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Brandon Rios in the last three years. None of them stand taller than 5’8.
Algieri has only 20 professional fight to his name, but he has ascended up the ranks of the sport so quickly in large part because of his defense. He was able to upset Ruslan Provodnikov in June, avoiding any major blows, outside of the first round. Pacquiao knows he will need a good game plan if he wants to land a high percentage of his punches against Algieri.
“Algieri uses the ring well and he loved to lean on the ropes,” Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao’s assistant trainer said. “We must devise a strategy to count this.”
Pacquiao presents similar challenges to Algieri that the 30-year-old faced in his last fight. PacMan and Provodnikov are about the same size, and both have a reputation for being hard hitters. While a bout with Pacquiao will be more difficult than Provodnikov, Algieri has shown that he’ll make the upcoming fight a competitive one.
The WBO Welterweight title will be on the line when the two boxers step in the ring. Pacquiao won the belt back from Bradley in April, after losing it two years ago in a controversial decision.