Manny Pacquiao: ‘Even 135 would be easy for me to make’
HBO has provided the fourth week of training blogs taken from interviews with Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri in advance of their Nov. 22 pay-per-view headliner to be fought at a 144-pound catchweight in Macau, China.
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 knockouts) is 2-2 in his past four fights, including a loss by disputed split decision against Tim Bradley in June 2012 and another by sixth-round stoppage against Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012. In his last fight, in April, Pacquiao, 35, regained the WBO welterweight title by a unanimous decision over Bradley.
Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) took Ruslan Provodnikov’s WBO 140-pound belt by a split decision in June, his last fight. Algieri rose from three first-round knockdowns and fought with a right eye that was nearly closed. The resident of Long Island, New York, will be making his first professional appearance on foreign soil.
PACQUIAO: ‘EVEN 135 WOULD BE EASY FOR ME TO MAKE … I MAY SCORE MORE KNOCKOUTS AT LOWER WEIGHTS’
Question for Pacquiao: Trainer Freddie Roach has said you can fight at 140 or even 135 for the right fight. What are your thoughts and what does the future hold for you in boxing?
“The reason we are fighting this fight at 144 pounds is because I wanted to see how I performed at a lower weight. If I do well, I could easily fight at 140 for my next fight. At 140 is the weight I walk around at when I’m not training for a fight. So that is no issue, and even 135 would be easy for me to make. The real question is how do I feel and how do I perform when I return to those lower weights?
“I could be faster than when I fought at welterweight and [junior middleweight], and if my power remains the same, I may be able to score more knockouts at lower weights. I weighed 138 when I knocked out Ricky Hatton, 142 when I stopped Oscar De La Hoya, and 144 when I scored a TKO of Miguel Cotto. Many people consider those fights some of my best, so why not go back down if that is where the bigger and better fights are going to be fought?
“But now I am the WBO welterweight champion, and my only focus is to defend that title. I didn’t realize how much it meant to me until I won it back in my rematch against Timothy Bradley. I love being a world champion, and I have poured my heart and soul into this training camp. My sparring mates have been the biggest and best I have ever had in training.
“I am leaving nothing to chance when I step into the ring against Chris Algieri on November 22. I want to win this fight so badly, and I want to win it in a way that will have boxing fans on their feet screaming and cheering. I owe that to my fans and I owe that to boxing. Today is my last day of training camp. I will spar four rounds, work the bags, shake out and then fly to Macau for Fight Week. I have been at weight for since late October. I am ready to battle.”
ALGIERI: ‘STICKING TO THE GAME PLAN AND STAYING FOCUSED IN TIMES OF ADVERSITY … SEPARATES ME FROM OTHER FIGHTERS’
Questions for Algieri: Which one of your victories taught you the most about overcoming obstacles inside the ring?
“My 10th pro bout against Julius Edmonds. I went into the fight with a sore right hand and then broke my left hand in the second round. Finding a way to win has always been a major part of my style and strategy. I didn’t even tell my coaches I was injured until after the fight.
“I finished the fight with a fourth round KO, and that truly was one of the biggest obstacles, if not, the biggest I have ever had to overcome. And let’s not forget in my most previous fight against Ruslan Provodnikov. I made a mistake in the first round and I paid for it. I was forced to pay the price and fight the remainder of the fight with a badly swollen eye.
“But I still found a way to win. Sticking to the game plan, and staying focused in times of adversity, that’s what separates me from other fighters. My mental make-up and my mental strength has always been the difference in my fights, and that is what will propel me once again to victory on Nov. 22.”
BRADLEY, VIRGIL HUNTER, MAX KELLERMAN TO BREAK DOWN PACQUIAO-ALGIERI ON ‘UNDER THE LIGHTS’
Pacquiao-Algieri will be previewed by Bradley, trainer Virgil Hunter and HBO’s Max Kellerman on Saturday at 11:45 p.m. ET/PT, the network announced on Friday.