On November 22nd the new kid on the block Chris Algieri (20-0, 8KO) faces Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38KO) in Macau, China. For the past two weeks both fighters and their camps have travelled almost 25,000 miles on an epic worldwide media tour promoting the event. Today’s stop was in Los Angeles, as a sizeable crowd of press and fans gathered at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on the Avenue of the Stars.
For Huntington New York native Chris Algieri, 2014 has truly been the year of his life. Back in February he faced the more experienced Emmanuel Taylor on ESPN Friday Night Fights and pulled the mild upset, which earned him a spot on HBO against the feared brawler Ruslan Provodnikov in June. After a disastrous opening round in which he was dropped twice and suffered a gruesome injury to his eye, Algieri bravely fought on and scored a major upset via split decision. In a matter of months the former kickboxer with a master’s degree in nutrition has punched his way from obscurity into the opportunity of a lifetime against Pacquiao. But can he keep the upsets coming?
For Pacquiao this bout marks his return to the Venetian Resort in Macau, where last November he got back into the win column with a dominant decision victory over Brandon Rios. The future hall of famer comes into this match with disadvantages in age (5 years), height (4 inches) and reach (5 inches); yet carries a wealth of big fight experience that makes him the betting favorite. In fact Pacquiao has more than three times as many pro bouts (63) as Algieri (20), who made his professional debut at the advanced age of 23. Will experience win the day, or will the hungrier fighter break through into the big time?
Regarding the televised portion of the undercard, two of the three fights have been signed. Newly crowned featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1KO) defends his belt against experienced Thai fighter Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (52-1, 33KO); while Chinese flyweight Zou Shiming (5-0, 1KO) fights in a title eliminator against another Thai fighter Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (27-0-2, 12KO). According to Bob Arum, the third bout of the televised undercard should be announced sometime next week.
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