There are plenty of boxing pundits ready to weigh in on this Saturday's big PPV showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri. Despite the massive experience gap, it's an interesting fight stylistically, and one that merits some thought. Of all the boxers and trainers weighing in, few have as much intimate knowledge of both men as Ruslan Provodnikov. The Siberian Rocky has been a training partner to Pacquiao under the shared tutelage of Freddie Roach, and has been in the ring with Algieri, losing a close decision to him in June.
Courtesy of HBO, here are Provodnikov's thoughts on how the fight will go down, and why Algieri needs to put on his running shoes.
1) What is Pacquiao's best strategy to employ against Algieri's length?
Manny will have to pressure Algieri throughout the fight and not give him a chance to let him rest. Body work and multiple combinations. Manny will also have to utilize speed. His speed of punches and speed of movement.
2) What did you learn about Algieri's toughness in your fight against him?
Algieri adjusted well in my fight and was able to show that he is a tough fighter. He had the heart of a lion that night. He had a game plan and he stuck with it even when I had him on the canvas twice in the first round. He's very smart.
3) Considering your experience sparring Pacquiao, how would you describe his fighting style?
Manny is very fast, aggressive and sharp. You cannot predict what he will do in the ring which can be a big distraction. And despite his size he does have good power -- and in both hands. His footwork is magnificent.
4) What can Pacquiao learn about Algieri from watching your fight against him?
Finish what you start! in my case finish the fight once you get him hurt.
5) What will be the key to victory for Algieri?
Run and hide....
Interesting answer at the end there. Is that a statement that Algieri has no shot at all against Pacquiao, so might as well run away, or a jab at the movement heavy style of Algieri that led him to the controversial victory in June?
See how Pacquiao vs. Algieri plays out this Saturday, November 22 with live fight night coverage right here at Bloody Elbow.