Trainer Freddie Roach and boxer Manny Pacquiao pose in the lobby of the Venetian Las Vegas Resort in Nevada last Saturday. Photo by Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/Reuters
Trainer Freddie Roach singled out Chris Algieri's jab as potentially his best weapon against Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, but the Hall-of-Fame coach is confident that the "Pacman" will have no problem with it.
Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight championship against Algieri on November 22 in Macau, and Roach is confident that the former pound-for-pound king will be able to solve the American's style quickly.
"Taking away some of his jab is not the hardest thing in the world to do. Manny knows how to do it well," Roach said in a Boxing Scene interview, pointing out that the "Pacman" did just that when he fought Oscar De La Hoya.
Even Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov was able to solve Algieri's jab, noted Roach.
"Ruslan got past it in the first round. It's not hard to do," said the trainer.
Provodnikov "wasn't consistent with it," however, and opted to look for a one-punch knockout instead of steadily breaking down Algieri.
"That's something you can't do with a guy like this. You're not going to hit him with one punch and knock him out," said Roach. "Ruslan had some success early, and then got carried away with it."
Provodnikov floored Algieri twice in the first round but Algieri recovered and won a decision, something that Roach does not agree with.
"I still thought Ruslan won the fight. I didn't think (Algieri) did enough to take the title, but that's my opinion," he said.
While Provodnikov deviated from the game plan, Pacquiao is not expected to do the same. The Filipino champion has said that he is focused on his upcoming showdown against Algieri even with Top Rank boss Bob Arum again bringing up the prospect of a potential fight against Floyd Mayweather.
"Right now I have to focus on my fight with Algieri, because I don't want to underestimate him," said Pacquiao in an interview with Tha Boxing Voice. "He is taller than me and he is underrated also."
"I don't want to think that this is an easy fight. I have to work hard, and after this fight I can think of the next one," he added.