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Vintage Pacman overwhelms foe

Pacquiao vs Algieri

By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | November 24, 2014

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao lands a right on the face of WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri during their welterweight title fight at the Venetian Macao in Macau. (inset) Elderly women lead the cheering for Pacquiao during a free screening of the fight in Sta. Cruz, Manila. AP/EDD GUMBAN
Algieri tastes canvass 6 times

MACAU – Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao showed flashes of his former self, with his explosive fists and old fury, chasing American challenger Chris Algieri all day that led to six knockdowns and a shut-out unanimous decision at the Cotai Arena here yesterday.

But the eight-time world champion missed scoring a knockout that could have sealed the showdown that the world has hungered for all these years: A fight for the ages and the greatest.

“I want that fight. The public deserves that fight. It’s time to step up and say yes,” Pacquiao said, alluding to the mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The unbeaten American fighter was like a pesky presence in the Filipino champ’s mind and talks of the duel dominated the pre-fight hype, and Pacquiao needed Algieri to send the message across.

In fact, he sent the tall American six times to the canvas, unwittingly showing various forms of a knockdown, going down in a corner, somersaulting from the impact of a hard right, dropping sideways by the ropes and absorbing a torrid left to the neck, among others.

The first knockdown, which looked more like a slip, came in the second round. But the succeeding ones, twice each in the sixth and ninth and once more in the 10th, were legit.

Algieri tumbled backwards to his corner in the ninth when, on the retreat, he took a left straight from Pacquiao. In the 10th, another combination sent Algieri down for the last time.

Pacquiao obviously went for the knockout, which he hasn’t provided his fans for a long time now, chasing the 5-foot-10 Algieri around the ring all night.

But Algieri showed more of foot speed than footwork inside the ring and was hard to catch. He refused to engage. Each time he did, he ended up on the floor.

The three judges had it 119-103, 119-103, 120-102 for Pacquiao, who retained his WBO welterweight title.

It was the third straight victory for the former pound-for-pound champion from Sarangani in Mindanao following two straight losses in 2012.

Algieri took his first defeat in 21 fights.

After the decision was announced, Pacquiao had a moment of prayer, on his knees, in a neutral corner. Then he climbed the ring post to thank his fans.

The boxer’s mother, Mommy D, waved a rosary in front of her famous son and in her excitement, during the celebration, she tripped on the floor but was up in no time.

In the middle of the ring, Max Kellerman of HBO did interviews.

“I did my best,” were the first words that came out of Pacquiao’s mouth.

The Pacquiao crowd, which included politicians, actors, basketball figures and his family and friends, roared in approval.

“I”m satisfied with my performance tonight. I tried to knock him out. I did my best,” said Pacquiao before he was asked about the Mayweather bout.

“He’s going to fight me? Yes! Yes!” said Pacquiao, almost bouncing on his feet with excitement, and repeating his line in his Footlocker commercial.

“I want that fight,” he said.

Algieri, who should be happy to be up on his feet at the final bell, gave credit where credit was due.

“Manny’s the best in the world,” said the 30-year-old American.

“He found holes in my defense. It’s not just his hand speed. He’s a great fighter. He does everything well. He has perfected his style of fighting,” said Algieri.

“I was never hurt. But he did catch me with a big shot. I think it was in the ninth round,” he added.

Algieri’s trainer, Tim Lane, confident and cocky in the days leading to the fight, didn’t say much after the fight that lasted longer than most people expected.

“Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter,” he said.

Freddie Roach said he was disappointed that Algieri came to the fight with no plans of engaging.

“I’m disappointed with Chris. He didn’t fight Manny the way he fought Ruslan (Provodnikov),” said Pacquiao’s chief trainer.

All week long, Roach had predicted a knockout for Pacquiao.

Roach didn’t get it.

“We went for the knockout. But the kid ran a little bit too much,” he said.

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