When we last left off on this in “[Vol.I]: Legend Killer”, I implied that Chris Algieri doesn’t merely believe in miracles – he expects them. Miraculously, the legendary Algieri released a video detailing how to deal with a southpaw named Manny Pacquiao.
In subsequent recent interviews, Chris used words like “easily” when asked to describe how he plans on dealing Pacquiao the business.
I’ve been bombarded with Algieri soundbites and quotes lately from my social media inbox, so this morning I reviewed a few. Perplexed and somewhat amused by what I saw and heard, I first had to pinch myself to understand that I wasn’t actually dreaming. Then, I checked the date on my phone while walking over to grab the remote for the TV. I turned it on and saw Stephen A. Smith complaining about something as my eyes drifted to another aspect of the screen.
ESPN showed me that it was indeed October 30, 2014 and that I wasn’t in some sort of futuristic, scientific world of teleportation. In looking at the tall and cerebral Algieri’s how-to-do-it video, I got the impression that it was perhaps a strange Monday – the 24th of November to be exact – and an unscathed Algieri wanted to show us how he put Pacquiao together easier than he would a Rubix Cube.
Then I said to myself “You know what? I better go check my stash of weed. I gotta see if Chris ain’t somehow get in here and smoke my damn trees. This dude gets high.” After verifying the required grams were still in check, I removed a few and started enjoying myself.
I then played back his bout with Ruslan Provodnikov from either impaired or enhanced lenses (or however you would describe it- but I’m gonna say “enhanced”). I had another fighter friend of mine with me who came with plants (that you might know of) who spoke very highly of Algieri, as if he was “special”.
1. That which is better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.
He wasn’t “better” than Provodnikov and I still had that fight scored 115-113 in favor of Provodnikov. In comparing notes we wrote down afterwards, my boy and I weren’t that off in assessment.
I didn’t regard him as a special “boxer” at all, unlike my friend. But he showed a greater will, and an even greater unwillingness to fold. I was able to conclude that his belief in himself is indeed special. I took into special consideration his footwork, movement, punch selection and ability to take a punch.
“He’s tall, not especially fluid in his movements… He’s sorta like the Tinman with a bunch of heart,” I chipped in while passing the tree around. “What do you see that makes you think he can beat Pacquiao? I mean, he doesn’t have any punch in his arsenal that’s special at all.”
“Yeah but he can hit him with guts and skills,” my fellow fighter declared. “He won’t stop moving, and Manny hates movement.”
I decided he was smoking too many trees and asked him to leave. Immediately.
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With clouds in the air and satellite airwaves in navigation for evidence that bolstered his fundamental knowledge, I couldn’t find any tangible evidence which showed me any success Chris has had with an elite southpaw. Nothing.
Semantics and smoke-filled hyperbole aside, he wasn’t really telling us how to beat Pacquiao – it was a basic dissertation – but he was more or less implying it. Chris will tell you that he’s beaten at least 7 southpaws which gives him good reason to believe he’ll have success with Pacquiao in a few weeks. He’ll also tell you that his trainer Tim Lane is a southpaw and knows every trick in the book.
Here’s an excerpt of what Algieri actually had to say to Lem Satterfield and The RING about two weeks ago:
“My coach, Tim Lane is actually a southpaw. He’s a lefty. So, we’ve never had a problem dealing with southpaws in the past and Tim knows all of the southpaw tricks and how do deal with them,” said Algieri, whose pro debut was a third-round knockout of the not quite all-time great southpaw Ken Dunham in April 2008.
He said a few other things, but let’s share this one…
“No one has the complete package but I have a guy from New York named Mike ‘Lefty’ Brooks. He’s 5-6, and the perfectly sized opponent,” said Algieri. “Brooks is a tough, durable guy and then, we’ve got a couple of other guys who were in Bradley’s camp and sparring partners that he used for Pacquiao. They’re coming out next week.”
Well by now they have indeed come out, and word out of Las Vegas is good ole Tim’s guys have given Algieri a very hard time. Mike “Lefty” Brooks is one thing and Tim’s guys are another. For perspective, Manny Pacquiao basically made Tim quit in the real fight Tim’s guys prepared him for. So without any weed to cloud your judgment, what do you think Manny would do to Tim’s guys?
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At age 30, Chris Algieri is not an accomplished fighter to the uninitiated. To them, he’s an undeserving creation of sorts and a promotional spin of the wheel for Top Rank and Bob Arum.
But I don’t believe this is true.
He doesn’t really understand losing for starters. He was a champion kick-boxer before he was a champion boxer. All told, he’s about 40-0 if you take the sum of his career into consideration. But for many who’ve initiated the belief that he is accomplished enough in both skill and experience to beat Pacquiao – well, that’s where we’ll defer.
Anytime you have a PPV production, its obviously designed to make money, which obviously means it should be compelling. Its should at least be considered compelling enough to spend $60 and up. If enough people didn’t think Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, or say Shane Mosley could beat him, then there’s no need to buy.
Miguel Cotto, the best of all the fighters who faced Pacquiao and preceded them all, fought a peak Pacquiao at an “infamous” 145lb catchweight which is somehow being infused into the promotion. Algieri is, of course, facing a well seasoned and slightly graying 2014 Pacquiao at a 144lb catchweight that he’s challenged. But does this have merit?
Pacquiao, at age 30, did something Algieri could never do. He he gets Marquez II at 130, David Diaz at 135, De La Hoya at 147, goes back down to massacre Hatton at 140, then decimates Cotto at 145.
All Algieri has to do is go up to 144 to further fill out his frame from 140, get a chance at a legend’s welterweight belt, and earn a million dollars in the process. Mind you, he’ll still keep his super lightweight belt and have a chance to defend that belt against Pacquiao in a rematch should he lose admirably. Pacquiao is afterall, once again moving back to 140lb waters at 35 while waving the middle finger at a reluctant Floyd Mayweather.
In all of this, wtf is there to complain about if you’re Chris Algieri?!
One other thing. Miguel Cotto, in 2009, was only three years removed from campaigning at 140 himself. When consider Pacquiao’s fight schedule that preceded him, all of a sudden the Cotto catchweight makes sense – just like Algieri fight does.
I have friends that will tell you I saw Cotto’s training camp in Tampa first hand and no fighter was ever more ready for Pacquiao than Cotto was, but Algieri just might eclipse that. Conversely if you’re Pacquiao, you never want to subject a fighter to undue drainage – especially at an advanced age – if you can help it.
Pacquiao’s loss of 3lbs to defend his belt, and the extra 4lbs Chris can gain to challenge it, should actually favor Chris.
Social media is loaded with fervent fans who own fight sites or regularly engage in debates about subject matter such as this. Its entertaining and amusing. Many of them are very knowledgeable and even actual fighters. Still, its amazing to me just how many of them think Algieri will win this fight in dominant fashion.
“Say GOODBYE to PacMan’s career.” Mark Kazama Ortiz with The Best Ever
“Why do I like Chris Algieri? It is not about getting knock outs , but the art of boxing using the ring out thinking your opponent.. His mind set is off the charts.” Enorris Da Noble Thomas, fight fan
Really??? From one fight??? I hope Provodnikov and his people are in on this deal because I can’t believe this sh*t. Wtf are they smoking?
Up Next… Pacquiao/Algieri: “On The Run” [Vol.III]: Chinatown