Sunday, November 23, 2014 8:15 am
Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao comprehensively dismantled American Chris Algieri to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight title at the Cotai Arena in Macau on Sunday.
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 twice in the second round, though on one occasion it looked like a slip.
Pacquiao was landing punches at will as the quick Algieri tried to run, slip and hide from the onslaught.
But the congressman form Sarangani province really turned it on from the sixth, smashing Algieri to the canvas with a devastating straight left.
The American only just beat the count and dropped to his knee a moments later as blows rained in from all angles.
He somehow survived and was knocked down twice more in the ninth and 10th, with one left sending him sprawling across the ring.
“I’m satisfied,” 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.”
In another fight of the night, China’s double Olympic gold medal-winning flyweight Zou Shiming dismantled an experienced and durable Thai opponent over 12 rounds to earn a world title shot next year.
In just his sixth fight the Chinese star gave his best performance since turning pro after winning gold at London 2012.
The unbeaten Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym by contrast was in his 28th pro bout and raised cheers among the huge Filipino contingent with his uncanny resemblance to their hero Manny Pacquiao.
This was a final eliminator for the WBO world flyweight championship, making Zou mandatory challenger to title holder Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico in a fight likely take place in spring next year in Macau.
The first big fight on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri clash was however the American Jessie Vargas outpointing his Mexican rival Antonio DeMarco to retain his World Boxing Association super lightweight title.
The champion from Las Vegas, with legendary fighter Roy Jones Jr making his debut as a trainer in his corner, got the better of his valiant opponent in a fight which exploded into life from the fifth round onwards.
Both men were heavily marked at the end of a toe-to-toe 12-round battle, in which the unbeaten Vargas (26-0) consistently landed the better shots to take a unanimous decision 116-112 on all three judges’ scorecards.
DeMarco (31-3-2) had many moments when he seemed to be getting on top, particularly in the ninth when he wobbled Vargas with a fierce straight left which sent him reeling back into DeMarco’s own corner.
But Vargas showed enough craft to step it back up when he needed to with combinations of his own, even trying a Jones Jr-style wind-up right “bolo punch” and the verdict was never in doubt.