Christopher Algieri is one big light welterweight – at 5 ft 10 in (178 cm) he as tall as Mike Tyson and GGG and has a longer reach (72 in or 183 cm) than both. He will move up in weight to fight Manny Pacquiao for the WBO Welterweight title this Saturday. Pacman is 5′ 6½″ (169 cm) and his reach is 67 in (170 cm), so the size advantage is obvious.
The congressman needs no introduction while Algieri came out of the blue for most fans. “Real Rocky” came to attention by outpointing “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov by a controversial SD after Algieri was floored twice in the 1st round. This is the only big name in his record and based on his performance in that bout, Chris is in over his head with Pacman.
Chris Algieri is the opposite of a hardcore boxer. He made his pro debut at the age of 24 and his background is high school wrestling, martial arts and amateur kick boxing. “Real Rocky” is a big man and he might beat Pacquiao – just not at boxing. He might be healthier and physically stronger than the Filipino and probably has a scientific approach to his nutrition and training schedule. This won’t make up for the missing years of polishing automatic boxing skills. If he has a degree in health care, he should care for his own health a little better than going against real boxers. It may sound harsh but harsh are the realities of boxing.
Whether Algieri is a rare talent, a prodigy, or just another product tailored for a certain target audience, he was propelled like a rocket into the big time. It doesn’t get much bigger than fighting Pacman for a welterweight. Chris has a record of 20-0 and it could be a case of “too much too soon” for him. My real question is not if Chris Algieri has enough experience as a boxer, I wonder if he had time to become a real boxer at all for the intents and purposes of high profile boxing. He has KOed 8 of his opponent, not a banger, so he will need to out-box a hardcore powerhouse to dispel all doubts.
Pacman has been stopped more than once but I do not remember seeing him out boxed since he came to prominence. Even if Chris is the right physical prototype of a fighter for this contest, the skills and habits of his opponent are on a different level. It may not be worth to elaborate on strategies for the “Real Rocky” because he won’t be in the driving seat. A viable albeit optimistic game plan for Algieri would be to go the distance, his chances for more than that are academic. Pacquiao joked his own master’s degree is in boxing, he might have plenty of time for fun in this fight.