By Rick Reeno
WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri (20-0, 8KOs) has been watching Manny Pacquiao for years. On November 22nd, Algieri is going to challenge Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title in Macau, China.
When they met for the first time, and went face to face at the kickoff press conference in China, Algieri admits that he was surprised with just how small the Filipino fighter was.
"He was shorter and smaller than I expected," Algieri tells BoxingScene.com.
The fight takes place at a catch-weight of 144-pounds. When the weight limit was initially disclosed, most fans believed the catch-weight was requested by Algieri's side. That wasn't exactly shocking, since Algieri is the fighter moving up.
But, that wasn't the case. Pacquiao's handlers wanted a catch-weight to prevent the physically bigger Algieri from gaining a significant weight advantage on the night of the fight.
Algieri already has an advantage of four inches in height, [although it looks like a bigger gap in height when they stand side by side] and he has an advantage of five inches in reach.
The Long Island fighter is not a fan of catch-weights. He was actually eager to face Pacquiao at the full welterweight limit of 147-pounds.
While he's physically much bigger, Algieri believes his skills - and not his size - will be the difference in the fight.
"No [I did not request the catch-weight]. I'm the bigger man any way you slice it. It doesn't matter what weight we fight at - I'm just a bigger guy than Manny, and that's painfully evident during the whole press tour. I'm a boxing purist, I wanted the fight to be at 147. It's a welterweight fight and welterweight limit is 147. Lets make it there," Algieri told BoxingScene.com.
"They chose to have it at 144. But like I said, it doesn't matter where we fight - at the end of the day its not going to be my size that's going to be the difference in this fight."