Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight title against the unbeaten Chris Algieri in Macau on Saturday (21 November).
Where to Watch:
Pacquiao v Algieri is available to watch live via Box Nation on Sky channel 437 (490 in HD) and Virgin 546 and online at Livesport.tv. Programming is scheduled to start at 02:00am Saturday night/Sunday morning with the main event set to follow three undercard fights.
Somewhat predictably, a prospective meeting between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr has largely dominated the build-up to the Filipino fighter's showdown with Algieri. The WBO champion has made it clear in no uncertain terms that a long-awaited clash with the five weight world champion is the final goal remaining in his glittering career.
Hopes of that happening looked to have faded following his knock out at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, but victories over Brandon Rios and in his rematch with Timothy Bradley earlier this year have lifted him back into contention. While Mayweather remains unresponsive over talk of a showdown between the two welterweight kings, victory on Saturday will see Pacquiao's calls grow even louder.
Amid all this, Algieri has taken a back seat. The 30-year-old, who is very much the prototype for the anti-boxer given his middle class background and his Masters degree from the New York Institute of Technology, sees the odds heavily stacked against him.
In comments which were aimed to undermine Pacquiao rather than New York-born Algieri, Mayweather claimed Top Rank CEO Bob Arum's relentless chatter regarding Mayweather v Pacquiao in 2015 was all in aid to drum up sales for Saturday's showdown.
While Pacquiao v Algieri may lack that box office status, the challenger is expected to provide a stern examination. While his is 20-0 (with eight stoppages) record is impressive in itself, his performance in his last match with Ruslan Provodnikov is what turned heads, after he recovered from two first round knock downs to take a split decision victory over the Russian.
His five inch height advantage over Pacquiao will be something he can exploit in the ring, but this will be his first encounter with someone he himself acknowledges as a future hall of famer.
What They've Said:
Manny Pacquiao: "As I have said before, boxing is my passion and public service is my calling. As I approach my title defence against Chris Algieri I have found that my passion for boxing has increased. I do not feel old.
"I feel great and I find I am able to train as hard as I always have and I enjoy it. More importantly, I still enjoy boxing - a lot. As long as my skills and my passion remain strong I want to continue my boxing career.
"When I retire, I want it to be on my terms. I do not want to spend my retirement regretting that I walked away from boxing before I was ready. I do not want to come back and fight after I retire."
Chris Algieri: "I'm tall for the weight class. I am built to go in and stand in front of the man and trade bombs – why would I do that? I've got length, I've got reach, I've got speed; I've got footwork and defence, but that's not what's going to be the difference in this fight.
"It's not a tall guy versus a short guy – it's Chris Algieri versus Manny Pacquiao. It's what I bring to the table versus what he brings to the table. I think a lot of it has to do with my mental preparation and mind going into this fight as well as what we know from Manny."
(W) Timothy Bradley – unanimous decision –April 2012
(W) Brandon Rios – unanimous decision – November 2013
(L) Juan Manuel Marquez – knock out – December 2012
(W) Ruslan Provodnikov – split decision – June 2014
(W) Emmanuel Taylor – unanimous decision – February 2014
(W) Wilfredo Acuna – referee technical decision – September 2013
Algieri's power and resilience against Provodnikov in the summer was admirable but in Pacquiao he comes up against one of the sport's modern greats whose explosive speed has been the downfall of better opponents than the New Yorker.
Rest of card:
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo
Jessie Vargas vs Antonio DeMarco
Zou Shiming vs Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym