Top Rank Promotions stressed their decision to pick undefeated American fighter Chris Algieri is the best option for Manny Pacquiao, as the former kick-boxing champion provides some feisty competition against the eight-time division champion. But for most of boxing analysts, they see the upcoming match as an opportunity for Pacquiao to end his knockout drought in a resounding fashion.
Coming off a gutsy but questionable victory over Ruslan Provodnikov to win his WBO Jr. Welterweight championship, the 30-year old Algieri is advertised by the promotions as a fighter capable of upsetting Pacquiao because of his more sound boxing skills, particularly his sharp jabs.
"I have special skills which I can keep up in a fight. I know how to use my reach advantage and my jab is the key. This is boxing," Algieri said in an interview on Boxing Scene.
Algieri also warned the former pound-for-pound champ not to underestimate his punching power because it can also become his killer weapon at fight night, adding the Provodnikov also felt his power during their 12-round championship match last June.
Although Algieri is not a scrub of a fighter with 20 wins and eight knockouts, the American fighter is clearly below the level of elite boxers such as Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto.
For sure, nobody should underestimate his potential, but there's no denying the fact that he hasn't faced a fighter of Pacquiao's caliber in his career. Provodnikov might be a rising star in the sport following his oustanding match against Tim Bradley and Mike Alvarado; however, he doesn't possess the agility and blinding handspeed of Pacquiao that victimized so many great fighters in the past.
Then again, the upcoming Algieri's match will be perhaps the most important fight for Pacquiao, because it will tell how potent his knockout power at this point of his career.
Of course, it's going to be another clinical display of power and precision for Pacquiao, but ending a fight with his first KO since 2009 will make his win a lot sweeter, and maybe it could be enough to convince Floyd Mayweather to pick him as his next opponent in May.
An upset against Pacquiao will be a long shot for Algieiri on Nov. 22, though he can still earn some respect and a relevant paycheck in his next fight if he holds his own against the Filipino wrecking machine. As for Pacquiao, it's going to be a show every Pacman fan should see.