Pacquiao vs. Algieri Undercard to Offer Betting Value

Jason Lake

Sunday, November 16, 2014 4:20 AM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 4:20 AM UTC

There are two title fights on the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri undercard in Macau. As you can tell by the boxing odds, one of these two fights is expected to be somewhat competitive, and the other is not.

A strong undercard can make all the difference for a boxing pay-per-view. On Nov. 22, Top Rank and HBO are giving us two title fights on the undercard for the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri bout at the Venetian in Macau. Shiny gold belts are nice, but how competitive are these added attractions?

The boxing odds tell us to be skeptical. When it comes to the WBO Featherweight title fight between champion Vasyl Lomachenko and challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, don’t expect an instant classic; Lomachenko is priced as low as –3500 and as high as –10000. There’ll be much less chalk when Jessie Vargas defends his WBA “regular” Junior Welterweight title against Antonio DeMarco. If you want to add Vargas to your boxing picks, it will cost you either –278 or –325 as we go to press.


Are You a Tomato Can, or a Tomato Can’t?
Officially, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has made the Lomachenko-Piriyapinyo fight the co-feature of the evening, and he’s talked up Piriyapinyo (52-1, 33 KO) as a legitimate contender. The 29-year-old Piriyapinyo certainly has experience (379 rounds fought), and he’s the No. 1-ranked featherweight in his native Thailand. However, Piriyapinyo is only ranked No. 42 in the world at BoxRec, and his record has more padding than a Santa Claus suit.

Lomachenko (2-1, one KO), on the other hand, has only fought 28 rounds as a professional. But he was a decorated amateur boxer before that, winning the Featherweight gold medal for the Ukraine at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Lomachenko racked up an amateur record of 396-1, so the 26-year-old was already seasoned when he beat Gary Russell, Jr. via majority decision this past June for the vacant WBO Featherweight title. BoxRec has Lomachenko ranked No. 15 in the world; Ring Magazine has him at No. 5, ahead of Nonito Donaire.

Again, if you didn’t know anything about Piriyapinyo’s strength of schedule, his 52-1 record and his stats might deceive you. His 69.6 percent punching power at BoxStat is ahead of Lomachenko at 62.1 percent, and his ability to take a punch (71.3 percent) is also rated higher than the champion’s (63.5 percent). But Lomachenko only gives us a small sample size to work with, and Piriyapinyo hasn’t fought anyone of note other than Chris John, who handed him his only loss back in 2012 in a lopsided unanimous decision.

Boxing pick: Add Lomachenko –3500 at JustBet to your boxing picks

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Hecho en México
The Vargas-DeMarco fight would have made a better co-feature, and it even has relevance to the main event; if Vargas wins, he moves one step closer to a matchup with Manny Pacquiao. But Arum has decided to make this the opening bout on the pay-per-view, which starts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That’s partly because Vargas (25-0, nine KO) is carrying one of two Junior Welterweight titles recognized by the WBA. Danny Garcia carries the “Super” version and is considered the top fighter in this weight division.

It’s also because Vargas (ranked No. 4 by BoxRec and No. 8 by Ring Magazine) was gift-wrapped a unanimous decision in his first title defense against Anton Novikov. This was a very disappointing decision by the judges, and it would have been natural to see a rematch, but Arum chose this route instead. DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 KO) is a very popular fighter in Mexico who should help bring in some extra eyeballs.

But can DeMarco continue his comeback after losing the WBC Lightweight title to Adrien Broner in 2012? He’s far ahead of the champion when it comes to punching power (70.3 percent to 61.4 percent) and the ability to take a punch (81.2 percent to 75 percent). But DeMarco’s last three opponents since losing badly to Broner have all been soft, and he even got knocked down by Lanardo Tyner in August before salvaging a decision. We’re not expecting much better this time around.

Boxing pick: Take Vargas –325 at 5Dimes

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