Algieri says it could be one-sided

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star
Algieri says it could be one-sided
Chris Algieri

KUALA LUMPUR – Former WBO lightwelterweight champion Chris Algieri is in town to do TV analysis of the WBA welterweight title fight between defending belt-holder Lucas Matthysse of Argentina and Manny Pacquiao for ESPN+ and although he’s half-Argentinian, his prediction is the Filipino will win in what could be a one-sided contest.

Algieri, whose father is Italian and mother is Argentinian, said he’s never met Matthysse although there was once a chance to fight him. “I was offered bigger money to fight Matthysse but chose to face Ruslan (Provodnikov) for less money because a title was on the line,” he said. “What I know is Matthysse’s a dangerous opponent because he can punch. Matthysse gets frustrated when he misses and that’s when his defense opens up. It will be competitive and interesting in the first four or five rounds. Then, if Manny frustrates Matthysse, it’ll be just a matter of time. Either Manny wins by a late knockout or a clear decision.”

Algieri said Matthysse’s an easy target. “Manny will control the tempo with his speed and volume punching,” he said. “Ruslan was the hardest puncher I’ve ever faced but when I fought Manny in Macau, I got hit and went down on my back in the eighth round. I thought I wouldn’t get up. But I guess it’s the Italian in me. They counted six knockdowns although some were doubtful. I finished the fight on my feet and lost the decision.”

Freddie Roach’s absence won’t make a difference, he said. “If it turns out to be a war of attrition and it goes down to the wire, maybe Manny will need a third eye in the corner and that could be Freddie,” said Algieri. “But Manny knows his stuff. He’ll know what to do. He’s a smart fighter. One thing about Manny is he doesn’t usually get tired. Against Jeff Horn, Manny wasn’t at his best but I think he won that fight. It could’ve gotten stopped in the ninth round but Horn’s tough and he survived. It’s possible Manny punched himself out. That won’t happen against Matthysse.”

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