WBO Welterweight Champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (57-5-2) handily out-boxed previously undefeated challenger and former kickboxer Chris Algeiri (20-1-0) to hand him his first professional defeat in a fight that solidified Pacquiao’s place atop the division. The judges scored heavily in favor of the boxing legend, handing in scores of 119-103, 119-103, and 120-102.
Pacquiao’s dominant effort renewed chatter amongst boxing aficionados and analysts alike regarding the likelihood of a long awaited super-fight between the Filipino southpaw, who turns 36 on December 17th, and undefeated pay-per-view super-draw Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, Jr.
From the first to the final rounds, Pacquiao executed his game plan and utilized his extensive experience advantage and rigorous training to outclass the taller, longer Algeiri. Fox Sports reports that the faster Pacquiao was able to floor Algeiri six times during the fight.
Algeiri attempted to stick to his game plan as well, which entailed using his sizable height and reach advantage to create and keep Pacquiao at a distance in an effort to avoid trading blows with the Pac-Man.
The challenger and former International Sport Karate Association Welterweight and World Kickboxing Association Super Welterweight champion told the Bleacher Report, “I’m tall for the weight class. I’m not built to go in there and stand in front of a man and trade bombs. Why would I do that when I’ve got length, I’ve got range, I’ve got speed and I’ve got foot work and defense?”
Prior to the fight, Pacquiao’s training coach, the legendary Freddie Roach, told GMA Network that Pacquiao planned to wear down Algeiri by bombarding him with body shots.
“We’re targeting the midsection. The most important thing is to work on his body. He has the height, but he doesn’t have good defense. His body is always wide-open. We have to exploit it.”
Hopes have been high for a Pacquiao/Mayweather dream bout for the better part of the decade, with accusations from both camps accusing the other of ducking the fight as well as a put-up-or-shut-up style insistence from Mayweather that Pacquiao undergo Olympic-style drug testing, which Pacquiao ultimately acquiesced to. This was perceived by many to be a stalling tactic by the undefeated Mayweather. Following back-to-back losses to Timothy Bradley, a loss Pacquiao avenged earlier this year, and storied rival Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked out Pacquiao, the boxing community feared that the dream match-up could have lost some of its luster, and along with it, some of its marquee value.