Wednesday, February 08, 2023  |


Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach talk about ending five-year KO slump


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When Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring with Chris Algieri on Nov. 22, five years will have passed since the last time the Filipino hero scored a knockout.

Five years.

Considering that Pacquiao went 11-0 with eight knockouts from 2005-2009, with his last knockout a savage drubbing of Miguel Cotto, it’s safe to say that “the PacMan” is long overdue for a stoppage and Algieri presents himself as the perfect fall guy for Pacquiao to break out of the knockout slump. However, as much as a knockout would help remind people of Pacquiao’s world-beater status, the expectation simply isn’t there like it used to beÔǪunless you’re name is Freddie Roach.

“I would love to see a knockout,” Roach said on a conference call to promote the Pacquiao-Algieri showdown.

Roach cited that Pacquiao fighting at 147 pounds hasn’t been ideal for him but that’s where the money was at. But what he made in fight purses he might have sacrificed in power.

“At 147 Manny is a little smaller,” Roach continued, fueling the suggestion that it is likely we will see Pacquiao fighting at 140 after this catch-weight fight at 144. “We have to feed him five times a day (to get to 147) but I see a knockout coming against Algieri for sure.”

That’s not a surprising prediction coming from a trainer who believes that every fight should end in a knockout. As for Pacquiao, he wouldn’t go as far to echo his longtime trainer’s sentiments.

“We cannot control the fight,” Pacquiao said when asked whether he will look to end his five-year knockout drought. “The fights aren’t all the same. What we’re doing right now is to getting back hungriness, focus and killer instinct the people want to see.”

Even Bob Arum shied away from the knockout talk by utilizing a baseball analogy, which suggests batters who look for the home run often strike out.

“If the KO comes, it comes,” Arum said dismissively. “To go out looking for a KO and neglect other aspects against an intelligent fighters like Chris Algieri would be folly. But, if he gets a knockout it definitely increases Manny’s marketability.”

Algieri demonstrated a great chin and an even greater heart in his victory over Ruslan Provodnikov as he peeled himself off the canvas twice in the first round and endured the heavy hitting Siberian’s onslaught for 36 minutes with a grotesquely swollen eye to earn the split decision.

It’s reason enough to think that the Long Islander won’t be mere cannon fodder for Pacquiao on Nov. 22. But leave it to Roach to explain away the reason why Pacquiao will do what his other pupil could not.

“I think Pacquiao is more experienced, more clever and a lot faster than Ruslan,” Roach said. “He’s not as big of a one-punch knockout artist but he can hurt you when he wants to.”

So, the question becomes whether or not Pacquiao will want to hurt Algieri on Nov. 22. We’ll have to wait and see.