Now Pac­man wants the bil­lion dol­lar fight with May­weather

The Star Early Edition - - SOCCER -

MA­CAU, China: Filipino ring icon Manny Pac­quiao com­pre­hen­sively dis­man­tled Amer­i­can Chris Al­gieri to re­tain his WBO wel­ter­weight ti­tle at the Co­tai Arena in Ma­cau yes­ter­day.

Pac­quiao dropped Al­gieri to the can­vas six times dur­ing the 12-round contest in the south­ern Chi­nese city to win an over­whelm­ing unan­i­mous decision, 119-103, 119-103, 120-102 on the judges’ cards.

Al­gieri, the un­beaten WBO light wel­ter­weight cham­pion, was out­classed from the start, with the eight-di­vi­sion world cham­pion Pac­quiao knock­ing the Long Is­lan­der down in the sec­ond round, twice in both the sixth and ninth rounds, and fi­nally again in the 10th.

Pac­quiao was land­ing punches at will as the quick Al­gieri tried to run, slip and hide from the on­slaught.

But the con­gress­man from Sarangani prov­ince re­ally turned it when he smashed Al­gieri to the can­vas with a dev­as­tat­ing straight left in the sixth.

The Amer­i­can only just beat the count and dropped to one knee mo­ments later as blows rained in from all an­gles.

He some­how sur­vived and was knocked down twice more in the ninth and then again in the 10th, with one left send­ing him sprawl­ing across the ring and head over heels back­wards into the cor­ner.

“I’m sat­is­fied with the re­sult,” said Pac­quiao. “I did my best. I was try­ing for a knock­out but he was fast and keeps mov­ing.”

“He’s per­fected his style,” said Al­gieri. “He’s per­fected the art of fight­ing like Manny Pac­quiao. He hurt me once when he buzzed me with a left hook. But that was the only time.”

Al­gieri holds a master’s de­gree and an am­bi­tion to be­come a doc­tor once his box­ing days are over.

All week in the build-up, his trainer Tim Lane had been declar­ing that he would de­stroy Pac­quiao by “master box­ing”. They proved hol­low words and Pac­quiao’s Hall of Fame trainer Fred­die Roach mocked them af­ter­wards. “The master boxer was given a master class by Pro­fes­sor Pac­quiao,” said Roach.

Roach raised a laugh when he told re­porters he had re­sorted to an un­usual tac­tic to try to get Pac­quiao to fin­ish Al­gieri with a knock­out.

“Eleventh round, I said: ‘I want you to knock him out’,” said Roach. “He says: ‘In Je­sus’s name?’ I said: ‘If that’s what you want me to say?’ He said: “Yeah”. “So I said: ‘Knock him out – in Je­sus’s name!’, he laughed.

“Re­ally I tried ev­ery­thing I could to get that knock­out.”

Pac­quiao’s vic­tory will in­evitably heighten calls for him to face the un­beaten Floyd May­weather in what could be the first bil­lion-dol­lar fight in his­tory. “I re­ally want the fight. The fans de­serve it,” said Pac­quiao af­ter­wards, throw­ing down a chal­lenge by im­i­tat­ing a new TV com­mer­cial in which he mocks May­weather.

It brought huge cheers from the sell­out 13 202 crowd at the Vene­tian Ma­cau venue, where the vast majority ap­peared to be Filipinos.

Many hun­dreds more of Pac­quiao’s com­pa­tri­ots were wait­ing pa­tiently out­side for just a glimpse of their na­tional hero, hav­ing ar­rived at the venue in the early hours of Sun­day to find all the tick­ets gone. Back in the Philip­pines, the na­tion stopped to watch en masse.

“The Filipinos were united in cel­e­brat­ing the vic­tory of our ‘Na­tional Fist’, Con­gress­man Manny Pac­quiao in his fight against Chris Al­gieri in Ma­cau,” said Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Her­minio Coloma in Manila. “His strength, speed and skill were on dis­play. Ev­ery punch that scored caused the mil­lions of Filipinos to cheer to­gether in ev­ery cor­ner of the world”. – Sapa-AFP

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