by David P. Greisman
Manny Pacquiao was carrying slightly less weight on his frame than usual at this point before a fight, while Chris was has a handful of extra pounds more than he was the last time around, but each looked the clichéd ripped and ready for their pay-per-view main event taking place on Saturday night — which will be early Sunday afternoon at Cotai Arena at The Venetian in Macau, China.
Pacquiao came in at 143.8, while Algieri weighed in at 144.4 on his first attempt and then stripped down and came in slightly over 144-pounds. Algieri has two hours to take off two-tenths of a pound, and his team expects no issues with that. The contract weight for the contest is 144.
That is the lowest Pacquiao has been in three years, when he came in at 143 pounds and Juan Manuel Marquez came in at 142 pounds. Pacquiao-Marquez III was contested at a contractual catch-weight of 144 pounds, which also happened to be the contractual catch-weight for Pacquiao-Algieri.
Except for that one bout, Pacquiao has been coming in anywhere from 144 to 147 pounds since November 2009, when he stopped Miguel Cotto. In his past two appearances, victories over Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley, Pacquiao checked in at 145 pounds.
His trainer, Freddie Roach, has said that Pacquiao would be fine dropping down to 140 pounds or could even return to lightweight for other fights. In the past, Pacquiao’s team members have said that he needed to be on a specific nutritional regimen to gain weight and keep it on for his bouts.
This will be his third fight since losing back-to-back to Timothy Bradley by controversial split decision in June 2012 and to Juan Manuel Marquez by one-punch knockout in December 2012. He will be defending the World Boxing Organization belt he won from Bradley in their rematch this past April, bringing the 35-year-old’s record to 56-5-2 with 38 KOs.
Algieri, who turned pro as a welterweight, eventually dropped down to a range within a few pounds of the junior-welterweight limit, ultimately coming in at 140 pounds for his title win this past June over Ruslan Provodnikov via split decision.
Algieri went to the canvas twice in the opening round against Provodnikov but got up, boxed with a badly swollen eye and was able to win on two of the three judges’ scorecards, taking a belt and moving to 20-0 with 8 KOs. This is by far the biggest fight and toughest opponent yet for the 30-year-old from Long Island, New York.
As for weights for the boxers appearing on the pay-per-view undercard:
- Featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko, 126-pounds. Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, 126-pounds.
- Junior-welterweight WBA “regular” titleholder Jessie Vargas, 140-pounds. Antonio DeMarco, 139.3-pounds.
- Zou Shiming, 112-pounds. Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym, 112-pounds.
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]