Any hope Chris Algieri had of upsetting Manny Pacquiao ended with the opening bell on Saturday night.
Pac-Man dominated the challenger from start to finish at The Venetian Macao, using a barrage of powerful shots to score six knockdowns and a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
ESPN's Dan Rafael passed along the official results and scorecard:
It was an absolutely clinical performance from the WBO welterweight champion. Landing 229 punches to Algieri's 108, he controlled every inch of the fight and completely out-classed his opponent.
Pacquiao was encouraged with his outing, via Top Rank Boxing's Twitter feed:
The final prize money split, per Rafael, mirrored the vast difference of the two fighters inside the ring:
In his first bout at welterweight, Algieri began the fight by simply trying to get a read on Pacquiao. He circled around the outside, concentrating more on offsetting Pac-Man's rhythm than throwing punches. But Pacquiao had little trouble finding the challenger and connecting on some big shots, as the CompuBox stats illustrated:
That turned out to be a very clear harbinger of things to come.
The second round was more of the same, and it resulted with the challenger hitting the canvas following a straight left from Pacquiao. Although he claimed it was a slip, the referee ruled otherwise, per Rafael:
Really, though, it didn't matter whether the knockdown was official or not.
In the third and fourth rounds, Algieri continued to sit on the defensive, while Pacquaio landed a barrage of body shots and uppercuts. HBO Boxing's Twitter feed noted the vast difference in Algieri's game plan vs. his typical style, as he struggled to solve the aggressive veteran:
The slow start forced ESPN's Todd Grisham to joke about Algieri's probable training methods:
Algieri landed some jabs in the fifth round, seemingly frustrating Pacquiao, but that turned out to be nothing more than a momentary variance from the norm. Pac-Man bounced back with a couple of massive shots in the sixth, knocking Algieri down twice.
One of those two again looked like a slip, but the balance of power was abundantly clear. Pacquiao was in complete control, and there was only one way Algieri was going to have any chance, as Roy Jones Jr. suggested:
But nothing changed.
Pacquiao continued to press on in a ferocious manner, and there was simply nothing his opponent could do. A powerful left cross dropped Algieri to the mat once again in the ninth. He was able to stand up but had to immediately take a knee, counting as another knockdown.
ESPN's Brian Campbell put it simply:
Pacquiao landed one more knockdown, but Algieri simply kept getting back up, refusing to let the champ earn his first knockout since 2009.
Knockout or not, though, it was an undeniably comprehensive performance from Pacquaio, who landed punches at will and did whatever he wanted.
The 35-year-old very obviously has plenty left in the tank, and he'll clearly be ready to take on whatever challenge is on the horizon.
At this point, the hope for some is that Pacquiao's next fight will come against Floyd Mayweather. It's unclear if the megafight will ever be a reality, but Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole reported earlier this week that things were happening:
A decisive victory over Algieri certainly looks good for Pacquiao in terms of momentum. Completing an agreement to fight Mayweather is the ideal scenario, but Pacquiao could fight any number of challengers now that he's proven his ability, once again, with a dominant win.