“He’s got a good jab, a good left hand. I think that’s his best weapon,” Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said of Chris Algieri, their opponent on Sunday (November 23) at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
But he cautioned, “Manny’s got a real good jab. He probably has the best jab in the business but he doesn’t like to use it that much. In this fight he’s going to have to and we worked on that quite a bit. He used it a lot of in the De La Hoya fight, it worked very well and I think that’s part of the plan. If we can take his jab away and use ours faster and more effectively, I think that’ll be the key to the fight.
“[Algieri] has a pretty good jab but you can take that away easily. It’ll be taken away in the first round, he’ll stop throwing it.”
“I’m expecting him to move and try to outbox us,” Roach continued. “It’s a big ring, it maybe favours our opponent a little bit. I would like a smaller ring but it’s a ring that we’re used to. It was the same last time. It didn’t help our last opponent and I don’t think it’s going to help this one either.
“I think his defence is pretty good because of his foot movement. Not because of blocking punches with his hands. He has good foot movement, he floats around the outside of the ring, but that is not impossible to cut off. If a good fight knows how to cut the ring off and set traps, it’ll only work for a certain amount of time.
“[Body shots] come into play, take the legs away. They’re very important in a fight like this for Manny. But the thing is, [Algieri is] kind of tall, rangy and so forth, high guard, the body is open. It’ll be part of our attack,” Freddie said.
“[Pacquiao] has to get in close. Mid-range is Algieri’s territory.
“We’re going to try to make it exciting. We’re going to cut the ring off. We’re going to set traps. We’re well prepared for that style. We’re not going to make this a boring fight. One thing about Algieri, if you get him in position and you start exchanging with him, he will throw back. He is brave. You saw with Ruslan [Provodnikov], he has guts. We’re going to get him into exchanges and that’s going to help the fight.”
Pacquiao’s trainer does see flaws in the challenger. “Square on, a kickboxer, a lot of mistakes,” Roach insisted. “Kickboxers usually don’t do well in boxing in the history of the sport. I’m not saying everybody. I question his strategy but we’ll see.”
“When [Algieri] fought Ruslan he showed a lot of heart and a lot of balls to get up,” Freddie conceded. “He was hurt really bad, his eye was shut and so forth. Ruslan’s a good young fighter, he’s still very young. He blew the Bradley fight because he overdid it and blew that fight because he didn’t really know what to do with the two knockdowns. He got so tired trying to finish the guy. Ruslan’s a heavy puncher and so forth but he’s not Manny Pacquiao and Manny Pacquiao is a much better boxer, much smarter, much more experienced. If Manny knocks a guy down twice, he knows what to do with it. Believe me.”
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