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Nov 26, 2014
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Macau, a spot littered by majestic structures, delicious food, and beautiful chinitas, became a boxing fan's dream destination as Manny Pacquiao fought at the Cotai Arena last Sunday, November 23. Luckily enough, we were there to witness the royal beating as we sat six rows away from the ring where idol Manny’s sick combinations got Chris Algieri stumbling from pillar to post.

For many of us who only get to see Pacquiao fight on TV, it's a surreal experience to watch The Man fight in the flesh. And thankfully, the Filipino icon gave an electrifying, minsan-lang-to performance that morning.

We all got to watch a version of the Pambansang Kamao that we haven’t seen in quite a while: aggressive, explosive, knockout-hungry, angry even. So, as a post-script to the fight that got us screaming hoarse for destruction, we share with you the secrets behind Manny's victory over Chris “The Fighting/Running Collegian” Algieri.

Put your school uniforms on again, boys, you're about to be given a boxing lesson of the expert kind!


For the first time in years, Manny Pacquiao look truly prepared to go all out--and experts noticed it

Manny can come into a fight at 80-percent capacity and still dominate. But this one felt different. And the few boxing experts that we got to talk to in Macau—namely Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, Gareth A. Davies of the Telegraph, and Inside HBO Boxing’s Kiean Mulvaney—a couple of days before the fight, thought so too. After seeing how terrific Manny looked in workouts and learning from the man himself how focused he was for the fight, those experts firmly believed Manny would knock Algieri out.

When the time came to see if his tremendous work in training camp would translate into a resounding victory, our main man didn’t disappoint. Every spectacular thing we saw him do a month ago in his GenSan training camp and in the final workout sessions in Macau was right there in the ring punishing Algieri. Pacman’s work rate was very high yet his stamina never dipped, his speed froze his opponent into a defensive position all fight long, and his weird-angled combinations found their mark.

Top Rank head honcho, Bob Arum, summed up how flawless Manny’s preparation for the bout was: “I told Manny this wasn’t going to be easy for him…luckily he took it to heart and he had the best training camp since the Miguel Cotto fight.” 

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Algieri was ready to run and Team Pacquiao prepared for it with "chasedown" barrages

We bumped into Pacquiao sparmate, Stan Martyniouk, after the fight and this was what he had to say, “The work we did with Manny in training camp was a lot harder than the whole fight. What Algieri did compared to our sparring sessions was nothing.”

Despite his strong intent to get rid of his annoyingly elusive adversary there was an apparent Zen Master-like calmness emanating from Manny inside the ring. It was because he knew ahead of time that he’d be going into the boxing equivalent of game hunting, he would be the patient hunter and Chris would be the poor rabbit.

The WBO welterweight champion also told us, “Alam ko na yun ang gagawin niya, tatakbo siya kaya puro ganun ang pinraktis namin sa sparring.”

Manny never looked frustrated as he chased and chased while Algieri ran and ran. Pacquiao’s readiness for that sort of scenario paid off as he was able to land his punches cleanly multiple times in spite of his challenger’s refusal to engage. The physically, mentally, and strategically prepared Manny Pacquiao almost produced a perfect show that ended in a KO. But we all know, it wasn’t his fault why he didn’t. 

 
It's been a long time since Manny tried this hard to get a knockout victory

Who could blame him? The last time he went for it, he was put to sleep. So, seeing him fired up and unloading power shots to take Algieri out was a welcome sight indeed. It could be Chris’ lack of power or it could be some other reason that convinced the Pacman to return to his knockout-seeking ways but whatever it was, the result was amazing.

Manny’s hunger to finish off his rival was the one thing that made the bout entertaining. Algieri made a conscious effort to not trade blows with the heavy-handed southpaw. If it were not for Manny’s dog-like tenacity to get rid of his opponent, the fight would’ve been a sleep-inducing, Mayweather-ish kind of bout. Algieri talked big leading into the championship encounter but he didn’t show up; thankfully, Pacquiao did.

This interview by HBO’s Max Kellerman of Chris’ outrageous trainer, Tim Lane, is perhaps the coup de grâce to Team Algieri’s all bark no bite campaign:


Video via ClubhouseCancerVids

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And how special was it to score six knockdowns in a fight? Bob Arum had a nice zinger: “You’re all talking about Manny not getting a knockout in five years, he just scored six knockdowns, that’s twice the number of knockdowns Mayweather has had in 12 years.”

Good one, Uncle Bob!


One thing's certain: We saw a motivated Manny

I can see [that] the fire in my eyes is back [like] when I was younger,” Manny uttered as he was cooling down after a light mitt workout in the basement of the Venetian Resort prior to the fight.

It’s difficult to keep being motivated when you’ve done it all in boxing. However, it seemed like the eight-division champion found the right inspiration to continue his ascent towards boxing’s Mt. Olympus. All the grueling work he put in to look like the Manny Pacquiao of old felt like it had a bigger purpose. The great show he put on wasn’t just to make the 13,000 delirious fans in the Cotai Arena and the millions who watched at home, bars, and restaurants happy; it was also designed to regenerate the clamor for a Pacquiao-Mayweather encounter.

Manny has never been more vocal about wanting to square off with the loud-mouthed superstar than in the recent months. And he did so again at the postfight press conference, “The fans deserve that fight, I want to fight him next year, hopefully it will be made because the fans deserve to see it.”

Michael Jordan won six rings because he found the perfect thing that lit a fire in his ass in each of those championship seasons. Apparently, Manny used the prospect of facing Floyd to reignite his fire and desire to keep himself on top of his game.

All we have to do now is hope that Floyd finally obliges...

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