10 ways for Algieri to win

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

MACAU – WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is a solid 7.5-1 favorite to whip challenger Chris Algieri and hand the New Yorker his first-ever loss in their scheduled 12-round title bout at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Resort here this morning. While Algieri’s friends and relatives are confident of victory, it’s difficult to take his bid seriously. Pacquiao is just too fast, strong and experienced for Algieri, who’s never fought outside of his home state.

But is it a hopeless case for Algieri? In boxing, anything can happen. Here are 10 ways for Algieri to create a monumental upset.

• Pacquiao doesn’t show up for the fight. Algieri wrests the title by default.

• Pacquiao agrees to fight with one hand tied behind his back, one leg immobilized and his eyes blindfolded. All of a sudden, Algieri has a chance to win.

• Pacquiao gets lazy and Algieri outworks him. The only way that Algieri is able to throw more punches than Pacquiao is if the Filipino lets him. Don’t count on Pacquiao taking it easy in the ring.

• Freddie Roach, Justin Fortune and Buboy Fernandez call in sick. Algieri’s trainer Tim Lane volunteers to take care of Pacquiao’s corner in their absence.

• Algieri develops a knockout punch overnight, turns into a monster like the Incredible Hulk and bludgeons Pacquiao into submission. The transformation will be like Popeye becoming the strongest man in the world after eating spinach.

* * * *

• Algieri bulks up to 144, is even faster than Pacquiao despite the added weight (he’s moving up from the lightwelterweight division) and steamrolls his way to win. Is it at all possible? At 140, Algieri couldn’t be faster than Pacquiao. At 144, how could he be faster?

• Algieri beats Pacquiao to the punch, meaning he’ll initiate and not give the champion the chance to counter by pounding him with dizzying combinations. However, it’s not in Algieri’s style to come forward. He won’t risk it against a dangerous power puncher like Pacquiao.  

• Algieri turns dirty like a Sandy Saddler or an Agapito Sanchez, butts, elbows and referee Geno Rodriguez of Chicago tolerates the shenanigans.

• The three judges are dishonest, refuse to recognize Pacquiao’s dominance and like the Three Blind Mice, award the decision to an undeserving Algieri.

• The Venetian management turns off the lights at the sound of the first bell and Algieri sucker-punches Pacquiao. When the lights go on, Pacquiao is flat on his back.

Of course, you and I know those 10 ways won’t happen just as an Algieri victory is out of the question.

* * * *

Algieri isn’t exactly free of distractions. His former manager Humberto Romero has sued him for nearly $1 Million, claiming Algieri deprived him from maximizing his financial opportunities because of a long injury during their alliance. Romero is demanding 16 percent of what Algieri earns from this morning’s affair. Algieri now manages himself and listens to the advice of lawyer Eric Melzer and promoter Joe DeGuardia. He recently hired Kevin Rooney Jr.  son of Mike Tyson’s former trainer Kevin Sr. to run his personal company.

Algieri is here with an entourage of 30 led by his parents Dominick and Adriana. His father is a supervisor with the Huntington (New York) Highway Department. His mother migrated from Argentina to New York with her family when she was 11. He has an older brother who is a detective.

A bachelor, Algieri lives in the basement of his parents’ six-bedroom home which was built in 1976. He hasn’t made much as a professional fighter and still drives a 2001 Honda Civic with a log of 200,000 miles. With the $100,000 he earned for fighting Ruslan Provodnikov last June, Algieri paid off his student loans, paved his parents’ driveway, installed a new roof in their home and set up a scholarship fund at Stony Brook University where he gained a degree in health science. Algieri also has a Master’s degree in clinical nutrition from the New York Institute of Technology.

Algieri knows that beating Pacquiao will open the doors to fame and fortune. He calls himself the Real Rocky and the screen Rocky, Sylvester Stallone, is expected to be at ringside to cheer him on. But it will take a major miracle for Pacquiao to lose this morning.










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