Pacquiao vs. Algieri: The renaissance of ‘Vintage Manny’

Milan Ordoñez on Nov 25, 2014 04:48 PM
Pacquiao vs. Algieri: The renaissance of 'Vintage Manny'
Photo credit: Manny Pacquiao Facebook fan page

On Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila time), the world once again bore witness to the brilliance of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. While he was expected to dispose Chris Algieri without breaking a sweat, the fight went on for the whole twelve rounds.

But this time around, everyone got to see glimpses of the “old Manny”, so much so that the buzz behind the making of the Floyd Mayweather mega bout has become louder than it has ever been.

‘Vintage Manny’

Since the fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, Freddie Roach has promised to bring out the Manny Pacquiao of old. In turn, the world was in anticipation of the little Filipino southpaw destroyer who barreled through Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and Antonio Margarito, just to name a few.

To everyone’s delight, “Vintage Manny” did show up on fight night. Not only was he back at his more natural weight, which is closer to 140 lbs, but also the lethal mix of his speed and power was more evident. What amazed long-time “Pacman” fans more, however, is the craftiness and improved boxing IQ that Manny had developed since his cruel face to the canvas knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Gone are the days of the overly aggressive Pacquiao who immediately darts in with one-two combinations. Instead, what the world saw on fight night was a more calculated Manny Pacquiao who picked his shots and landed them at will. His distance management skills remained top-notch, but this time around, he was patient enough to find the cracks in Algieri’s defense to land the perfect set of punches.

At 35 years of age over the course of almost two decades of fighting in the ring, the world saw the Manny Pacquiao everyone was accustomed to seeing on fight night. No explicit traces of Father Time’s effects on human anatomy, no residual implications of the Juan Manuel Marquez overhand right that put him to sleep.

For all intents and purposes, “Vintage Manny” is back in the fold, primed and ready for at least a couple more years of grueling yet electrifying battles.

‘Money’ Mayweather, finally?

It took two years before the highly lucrative bout between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis was made. After a tug-o-war between cable giants HBO and Showtime (among other reasons), everything was ironed out and the fight was finally made in 2002.

As a sport that has existed for centuries, boxing as a form of prizefighting is no stranger to the politics and red tape involving its big names and the bigger egos that come along with them. Ironically, while the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao match-up has gone slightly stale over the last five years of failed negotiations, it still piques the general public’s interest.

Rightfully so, having two of the best of all time in one ring would instantly make the history books, whether both men had “declined” with age, or otherwise. Immediately after the twelfth round bell rang in, Pacquiao himself made his clear intentions known to the world: this fight needs to happen in 2015.

Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum has now left the ball on Mayweather’s court, noting that all his camp needs to do is “answer the phone.” Manny’s newly acquired assertiveness towards making this fight happen may bring a glimmer of hope to a deal that is already practically flat lining. But until the papers have been signed, sealed, and delivered, it would be best for everyone not to hold their breaths.

 

Follow this writer on Twitter: @Mr_Ordonez

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