There is an old boxing adage that states a ‘good big fighter always beats a good little one’.
If this theory held true then the upcoming November fight between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and WBO light-welterweight king Chris Algieri would be a foregone conclusion before the 1st bell rung, wouldn’t it?
Algeiri vs Pacquiao
Well, not exactly, because although Algieri proved his worth as a good big prizefighter when he dethroned the menacing Ruslan Provodnikov for his 1st world title, Manny Pacquiao has consistently proven himself to be a great little champion.
Still, when you look at the promotional pictures of the two men standing side by side, the height difference between the 5ft 6in Pacquiao and the 5ft 10in challenger is astonishing. Aside from the obvious height advantage Algieri has over the little Filipino star, Pacquiao is also at a massive 6inch reach deficit compared to his rangy opponent.
Pacquiao at an advantage?
Regardless of the inches in reach and height that Pacquiao concedes to Algieri, he will still be a heavy betting favourite going into the fight on November 22, which will be staged in Macau, China. Why? Because this is not Pacquiao’s 1st barbecue, he has battered bigger and stronger men than Algieri before in his illustrious career.
Furthermore, Pacquiao holds the aces in the hand speed and power department. Algieri is a classy and crafty technician, but he is not a vaunted puncher. His record of only eight knockouts of 20 contests testifies to that.
However, there are a few significant and favourable differences between Algieri and the other ‘big guys’ that Pacquiao has put to the sword in the past. Firstly, Algieri is approaching his prime as a fighter, whereas Oscar De La Hoya and Antonio Margarito had both seen better days by the time they met Pacquiao in battle.
In the case of Oscar De Hoya, the ‘Golden Boy’ had lost his shine and looked emaciated against Pacquiao due to the fact he had to dissolve himself down to 147lb. His sunken features on fight night told us of the trauma his body suffered in trying to drain weight. Algieri, though, is moving up in weight to face Pacquaio, and there is a consensus opinion that his 5ft 10in frame will actually be more comfortable at welterweight than it is at 140lb.
Most importantly, what Algieri lacks in power he makes for with pure boxing skills and a crisp, authoritative jab. If Algieri can control the distance with his jab and keep the fight at range then he will cause Pacquaio a lot of problems.
Algieri vs Provodnikov
Having seen Algieri smile in the face of adversity against Provodnikov, after suffering several knockdowns and a grotesquely swollen eye, there are certainly no questions marks over his stomach for a fight. Algieri has heart and desire in abundance.
He knows this is the biggest moment of life, and he will be determined to do whatever it takes to have his hand raised in victory. Yet Pacquiao has cultivated the aforementioned traits evident in Algieri since his childhood in the mean streets of Manilla and General Santos City.
Both men will be willing for war. That is why despite the fact there were far better fights out there for Manny Pacquiao his contest with Chris Algieri will still be full of drama and intrigue.
At this point, I still think that the great little guy will overcome the good big guy. But what if Chris Algieri shows he has the ingredients to be great, then it could be a different story.
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