There was no wasted motion from Manny Pacquiao as he systematically took apart Chris Algieri to retain his WBO welterweight title on Saturday. The fight may have gone the full 12 rounds, but that shouldn't fool anybody into thinking it was anything other than a one-sided contest.
Pacquiao established control early via a strong series of body shots and proceeded to pick Algieri off the rest of the night. He chose his moments wisely and only exerted energy to a deliver a flurry of punches when the moment was ripe.
A cursory look at the scorecard reveals Pacquiao's consistent dominance, per John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times:
Pacquiao was given a 119-103 victory on two judges scorecards and 120-102 win on the other card. Pacquiao had six knockdowns and forced one standing eight count for the win. Algieri was outclassed from the start by the eight-time champion.
Pacquiao improved his record to 57-5-2. Algieri is now 20-1.
Pacquiao truly began his masterclass when he struck a pair of knockdowns in the sixth, one round after a rare Algieri triumph in the fifth. The challenger was then subjected to a mandatory eight count after a solid left hook sent Algieri sprawling once again.
A fast combination of punches saw Algieri taste the canvas yet again in Round 10. At this point, the brave and willing challenger was being completely overmatched.
Here's how Cherwa unofficially graded the fight:
|Pacquiao vs. Algieri Scorecard|
|Jack Cherwa, Los Angeles Times|
His grading proved very accurate as the final scorecards indicated, per the Box Nation official Twitter feed:
By the penultimate round the pattern was firmly set. Pacquiao had simply landed too many shots, per USA Today Sports writer Robert Velin:
We're in the championship rounds now. Pacquiao, a 7-1 favorite, making the oddsmakers look good. He wants a knockout but Algieri is very tough and has not given up. Pacquiao has landed 114 more punches than Algieri. Another Pacquiao round. Barring a knockout, this one's over.
The punch statistics were alarmingly one-sided, per h/t ESPN.com reporter Dan Rafael:
|Pacquiao vs. Algieri: Punch Statisitics|
Earlier, Velin had noted how Pacquiao probably needed a knockout to set up a much-mooted, but constantly derailed, dream bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao failing to to score a knockout of the resolute Algieri is one of the fight's main takeaways.
So is the fact that failure to do so hasn't dimmed Pacquiao's desire to eventually square off with Mayweather. Pacquiao reaffirmed that desire prior to fighting Algieri, per Rafael:
I believe good-faith negotiations could produce that fight. But it is impossible to negotiate when you are the only one sitting at the table. Two fighters who want to fight each other have never been kept from fighting each other.
Rafael also noted how, contrary to previous snags with this elusive fight, Mayweather is currently the more culpable for the impasse. However, there aren't many men left for Pacquiao to beat.
Although he didn't put Algieri down long enough for a KO, Pacman's emphatic destruction of a previously undefeated challenger has to inch him closer to eventually tapping gloves with Mayweather.
As for Algieri, his night is one he'll likely want to soon put in his rear view. Having his first professional defeat come at the hands of Pacquiao certainly represents no shame, but it does highlight the gulf between his current level and those on the elite pedestal.
The fact that he barely landed a meaningful shot will raise serious questions about Algieri's ability to enter the ring against other marquee fighters in his weight class. After this very one-sided affair, Algieri is unlikely to be considered much of a draw.