Legendary Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao will be taking on challenger Chris Algieri in the boxing ring this weekend for the WBO welterweight title at The Venetian Macao in Macau. Fans can watch online the highly-anticipated fight via live stream - free for subscribers - below.
Although most experts and bettors would predict Saturday night's fight in the former Portuguese colony to go down with a Pacquiao win, fight promoters have billed Algieri, 30, as a "real-life Rocky" thanks to his rapid rise to fame. According to Kieran Mulvaney of Reuters, Algieri hasn't been intimidated by the fight with a proven boxing champion.
"Yeah, it's cool, but it doesn't faze me," Algieri said to reporters in Macau. "I've literally seen this in my mind for a long time. And now it's here, it isn't I made it; it's, this is where I'm supposed to be."
It's even more improbable that the American, who has thought about going to medical school and has a Masters degree, was fighting in a venue that, according to Mulvaney, held less than 2,000 spectators back in New York nine months ago; now Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) is fighting an eight-division world champion at a 15,000 seat arena in China.
Mulvaney wrote that Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) recognizes that the outcome of this fight could be a springboard to launch Algieri into the international spotlight, much like how his 2008 victory against American legend Oscar De La Hoya made Pacquiao a global superstar.
"I will not let that happen," Pacquiao said. "My time is not over yet. I'm not predicting a knockout, but I'm looking for a good fight and looking to prove I can still fight."
Although Pacquiao, 35, is best known for his signature knockouts, Chris Roling of Bleacher Report noted that his knockout percentage has fallen to below 60 percent.
"The culprit, of course, is the lack of a knockout over the course of the past five years," Roling wrote. "In fact, the only knockout in Pacquiao's last eight fights came against Juan Manuel Marquez-but when the Filipino hit the canvas for the count, not the other way around."
Despite the lack of recent knockouts, Pacquiao asserted to his coach Freddie Roach that he can take out Algieri early in the fight. That's according to Greg Logan of Newsday, who spoke with Roach about Pacquiao's chances in the upcoming fight.
"Manny told me, 'One round,'" Roach said. "He's never done that. He won't repeat it, but that's what he said: 'One round.'"
Logan noted that Pacquiao has bounced back from getting knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez two years ago to regain his title. However, that hasn't reversed the perception by some people that he is in a state of decline.
"Manny's really on top of his game right now and he's looking really good," Roach said. "He can't wait to get in the ring with this guy and show the world he's a better fighter."
Algieri strongly disagreed, insisting that Pacquiao can be beaten in the ring.
"We're not worried about what Manny's going to do, we're focused on what I'm going to do," Algieri said. "And if I fight my fight, I win."
Roach responded to Algieri's bravado with hints of derision.
"They're trying to make out like Algieri is the next Rocky," Roach said. "But this isn't a movie."
According to Logan, Pacquiao has himself refrained from making any public predictions about the upcoming fight and has taken a measured approach in his commentary.
"That's Freddie's opinion," Pacquiao said. "For me, I don't want to boast that I'm that good. The power that I have, the talent that I have is from God, so why should I boast about my talent?"
Roling predicted that although some rounds could be close, the winner could be Pacquiao by unanimous decision thanks to "his timing, angles and reputation." Although winning may be a longshot for Algieri, Roling noted that he "has the speed and conditioning to take this fight the distance."
Boxing fans can watch the Pacquiao-Algieri fight on HBO PPV on Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The fight can also be watched online via the Top Rank TV website.