During a Wednesday interview with The New York Times, Chris Algieri flatly predicted that he’s “going to beat Manny Pacquiao.”
Algieri (20-0, 8KOs) will face the 35-year-old Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) on Saturday night at the Venetian Casino & Resort in Macau, China.
“I go in with the conviction that I am going to win this,” said Algieri, 30, who owns a five-inch reach advantage over Pacquiao. “I’m going to beat Manny Pacquiao, no disrespect to him or anyone else. That’s just how I feel.”
Nicknamed “The King of New York,” Algieri captured the WBO junior welterweight belt by winning a debatable split decision over Russian badass Ruslan Provodnikov on June 14.
The 30-year-old Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs), a merciless assaulter with cement fists and a granite chin, floored Algieri twice in the opening round.
Provodnikov badly defaced Algieri and the undefeated challenger quickly developed a grotesquely swollen, bloody and closed right eye.
Algieri somehow endured, displayed remarkable testicular fortitude, and managed to outbox the “Siberian Rocky.”
The 5-foot-11 Algieri used deft movement and an effective jab to keep the 5-foot-6 Provodnikov at an honest distance following the first four lopsided rounds.
Many onlookers thought Provodnikov deserved to prevail.
Regardless, pugilism is highly subjective and it’s understandable that other spectators believe Algieri was the rightful victor.
“You don’t have to have a tough upbringing to be tough,” said Algieri, a Huntington native who received his master’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology. “I think that was a big question people had about me, coming from Long Island and being educated. But my drive comes from my passion for the sport and for competition. I like to compete. I like to win.”
Pacquiao last vacated the squared circle in April after universally outscoring Timothy Bradley to seize the WBO welterweight title.
Showcasing elite footwork and the uncanny ability to deliver punches from all angles, Pac-Man dominated and officially trumped the 31-year-old Bradley (31-1-0-1, 12 KOs) by counts of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.
Despite yielding approximately four inches to “The King of New York,” the 5-foot-7 Pacquiao has long thrived against larger opponents and Algieri won’t be an exception.
“I go in with the conviction that” Manny Pacquiao will secure his first knockout in five years versus the stouthearted Chris Algieri this weekend in the Far East.