Bet Pacquiao vs. Algieri Over 9.5 Rounds as KO Unlikely

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:57 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 10:57 PM GMT

Manny Pacquiao hasn’t won via knockout in five years. But according to the boxing odds for Saturday’s fight against Chris Algieri, it’s not a matter of if Pacquiao will knock him out. It’s a matter of when.

The list is impressive: Erik Morales. Jorge Solis. David Diaz. Ricky Hatton. Miguel Cotto. All of these top fighters lost to Manny Pacquiao, and all of them lost by knockout to one of the most powerful pound-for-pound punchers in boxing history. But that was a while ago. Pacquiao has fought eight times since vanquishing Cotto in 2009. None of his six wins came via KO.

The boxing odds, however, tell us to expect something different this Saturday when Pacquiao defends his WBO Welterweight title in Macau against Chris Algieri. Not only is the champion a –800 favorite and above as we go to press, the over/under for how many rounds this 12-round fight will last is only 9.5 (OVER –135). It speaks volumes about how lightly the market regards the undefeated Algieri. But are those expectations realistic?

Find the best Pacquaio vs. Algieri betting odds on offer with SBR.

Do the Evolution
Pacquiao is without a doubt the most transcendent cultural figure the sport of boxing has today. He’s treated like a god, not only in his native Philippines, but pretty much everywhere he goes. Sadly, Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) is mortal like the rest of us. He turns 36 next month, and he’s not the same fighter who made his professional debut in 1995.

We don’t mean that in terms of slippage, either – although that’s bound to play a role at some point if it hasn’t already. We’re talking about Pacquiao’s evolution in the ring. He was a lightning-quick flyweight when he won his first major title in 1998 at the tender age of 20. As Pacquiao got older and filled out, he moved up in weight class, knocking out 11 of his 12 opponents (with a draw versus Agapito Sanchez) as a super bantamweight.

Pacquiao continued to grow in stature, literally and figuratively, and ended up winning championships in eight different weight classes, all the way up to light middleweight. But with each step up in weight, the knockouts became a little less frequent, as the opponents in front of him became more capable of absorbing punishment. Even the TKO versus Cotto (fought at a catchweight of 145 pounds, one pound heavier than Saturday’s bout) was via referee stoppage in the 12th.

 

40 Million Simoleons Can’t Be Wrong
Since that fight, the only time Pacquiao hasn’t gone the distance was when he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. Meanwhile, Algieri (20-0, eight KO) has yet to lose a fight in any fashion, and his last knockout victory was also in 2012. At 5-foot-10, Algieri is much taller than most of his opponents, including Pacquiao at 5-foot-6 1/2. Given this natural advantage, the game plan for Algieri is clear: jab, move, defend, and counter when able. He’s a 12-round decision waiting to happen.

And yet the general consensus among insiders is that Pacquiao will knock Algieri out in the middle rounds. This will be the challenger’s first fight (as a boxer) outside New York, and Pacquiao is by far the toughest overall test of his career. However, according to the “punching power” numbers at BoxStat, Pacquiao (72.4 percent) is only somewhat more powerful than Algieri’s last two opponents, Ruslan Provodnikov (71.1 percent) and Emmanuel Taylor (68.8 percent).

It’s one of the oldest clichés in sports, but that’s only because it’s true: Never look past your next opponent. And yet that’s what we’ve been doing for years now when it comes to Pacquiao. There’s only one boxer the masses want to see in the ring with Pac-Man, and it’s not Algieri – it’s Floyd Mayweather. There’s been talk over the past couple of months that Pacquiao-Mayweather could finally happen in 2015. Showtime claims it offered Pacquiao’s camp $40 million and a 35-percent cut of the pay-per-view upside, only to be rebuffed for now. So when making your boxing picks keep in mind that means there are at least 40 million reasons for Pacquiao to play it safe against Algieri this Saturday.

Boxing Pick: Take OVER 9.5 rounds at 5Dimes

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