By Keith Idec
If Chris Algieri actually has a shot at upsetting Manny Pacquiao, the light-punching underdog likely would have to do so by decision.
And if their 12-round WBO welterweight title fight Saturday night in Macau, China, goes to the scorecards, Algieri isn’t concerned he won’t get a fair shot in a building full of Pacquiao supporters.
“I don’t think fans score fights, judges do,” Algieri said. “Judges are a lot closer to the action than fans are. Fans sure can sway the way a fight looks, but I’m confident in the abilities and the professionalism of the judges. So if I do what I’m supposed to do and things go the way we’ve planned, we’ll have a victory regardless of the fan support [for Pacquiao].”
New Mexico’s Levi Martinez, Chicago’s Patrick Morley and Florida’s Michael Pernick are the three judges who’ve been assigned to the Pacquiao-Algieri fight (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; HBO Pay-Per-View; $69.95 in HD). Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, doesn’t believe Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) owns the advantage the Filipino superstar is perceived to have because he’ll battle Long Island’s Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) in nearby China.
“You have to understand,” Arum explained, “if a fighter was fighting in America, and he was Mexican, would you say that the American judges would favor him because they come from the same continent? And the answer is ‘no.’ Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino and most of the people at the fight will be Chinese, whether from Hong Kong or mainland China. And to say that the Chinese would favor a Filipino over an American is to not understand the geo-political nature of different countries.
“The Chinese have as much affinity for a Filipino as they would an American, just like Americans would not necessarily favor a Mexican who is fighting over here. I mean, you have to understand that. We can't get into the narrow thinking that an Asian is an Asian. That’s silly. That just isn’t the case. There’s Thais, there’s Indonesians, there’s Japanese, there’s Chinese, there’s Filipinos. There’s various groups and they’re not always particularly friendly to each other.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.