A rejuvenated Manny Pacquiao will look to make short work of Chris Algieri Saturday to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight belt and raise his chances of a showdown with Floyd Mayweather.
Few believe the eight-weight world champion, oozing confidence and surrounded by a 300-plus entourage in Macau, will be seriously troubled by Algieri.
His 30-year-old American opponent (20-0) is a capable and likeable former kickboxer from Long Island with a master's degree and an ambition to be a doctor. In June, he got up from the canvas twice in the first round to shock Russia's formidable light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov and take the WBO belt on a split decision.
Now he says he wants to pull off an almighty upset and end the fabled career of the 36-year-old Filipino icon and congressman from Sarangani province.
"Manny's going to be put to sleep, go home and then retire," Algieri's trainer Tim Lane told reporters Friday.
The last man to make such a bold prediction was another American, Brandon Rios, at the same venue a year ago. Rios was then destroyed by a masterclass in boxing, speed, agility and power from 'Pacman'.
Pacquiao, who once described Algieri as just an "okay" fighter, remains dismissive of his challenge.
"I know my opponent is excited to win, but I won't let that happen," he said at the Venetian Macau venue.
Pacquiao, whose record stands 56-5-2 with 38 KOs, had a mixed build-up in which he made his professional basketball debut in the Philippines league last month.
But he says his intense training camp has helped him regain the aggression and power that put away world-class adversaries such as Oscar de La Hoya, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley in his younger days.