‘Pacquiao will play with Algieri,’ says Penalosa

Ryan Songalia

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‘Pacquiao will play with Algieri,’ says Penalosa
Gerry Peñalosa feels that the unbeaten New Yorker is out of his league against Manny Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines – Former two-time boxing champion Gerry Peñalosa isn’t convinced of New Yorker Chris Algieri’s chances of giving a credible challenge to eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao when the two clash on Sunday, November 23 (Saturday US time) at the Venetian Resort in Macau. 

The WBO junior welterweight titleholder Algieri (20-0, 8 knockouts) of Long Island, N.Y. rose from anonymity a month ago, upsetting Ruslan Provodnikov in his first major fight, utilizing his height advantage and a busy jab to overcome two first round knockdowns and a right eye that was shut for 11 rounds. (RELATED: Chris Algieri, Manny Pacquiao’s next foe, not your typical boxer)

Still, Peñalosa feels fighting Provodnikov and the reigning Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Decade are two completely different tasks.

“(Algieri) is not that worthy, he keeps on running. Manny will just play with him,” the former WBC junior bantamweight and WBO bantamweight champion Peñalosa tells Rappler. “Algieri is good but simply not good enough for Pacquiao. 

“You cannot compare Manny to Provodnikov. Manny is the pound-for-pound king. Provodnikov can punch but that’s about it. Algieri impressed me in that fight, imagine he was down twice and showed the stamina to come back. Ruslan can punch and he’s like a monster in the ring but his defense is not as good as Pacquiao.” 

The San Carlos City, Philippines native Peñalosa, who retired in 2010 with a 55-8-2 (37 knockouts) record, has been a long-time Pacquiao associate, having employed a then-unknown Pacman as a sparring partner years before he emerged as one of the world’s most celebrated athletes with victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto. 

Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) has rebounded from back-to-back losses in 2012 with two straight victories over Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley to ascend to the number 4 spot on THE RING magazine’s pound-for-pound list. Algieri, meanwhile, is rated number 3 in RING’s junior welterweight rankings where unbeaten American Danny Garcia holds the recognized championship. 

Gerry Penalosa feels that the only fight left for Pacquiao is a showdown with Floyd Mayweather. Photo by Ryan Songalia/Rappler

When asked if he felt the 35-year-old Pacquiao could register his first knockout win since 2009 against Algieri, Peñalosa said “Maybe.”

“Manny is a complete fighter, he knows what to do in the ring with (trainer) Freddie Roach so we can expect Manny will perform another good performance.” 

Algieri will have one advantage on fight night in height: the former kickboxing world champion stands 5-foot-10, while Pacquiao is reported at 5-foot-6 and a half.

Peñalosa feels Pacquiao shouldn’t focus on fighters like Algieri or a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. He said only one relevant opponent remains for Pacquiao to fight. 

“He should fight (Floyd) Mayweather, that’s it. No more Algieri, no more Marquez. He should fight Mayweather, that’s the fight the people want to see. I hope both can agree so let’s get it on,” said Peñalosa. – Rappler.com

Ryan Songalia

 

Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at ryan@ryansongalia.com. An archive of his work can be found at ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.

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