MACAU – Chris Algieri walked inside the gym Wednesday looking every inch a man confident of securing victory.
As he began to dress up for training, the second to the last before he meets the menacing Manny Pacquiao on Sunday at the Cotai Arena, Algieri entertained several questions from the media, his every statement laden with bold words.
While Pacquiao, almost a 20-year pro and an eight-division world champion, holds a huge edge in experience, Algieri believes intelligence neutralizes it.
“Experience and intelligence are two different things,” said Algieri, claiming his ring savvy will carry him through the scheduled 12-round welterweight title match.
Going into the final days, Algieri says it is time to prove everyone wrong as he looks forward to an unforgettable event highlighted by an eye-popping performance.
During his training session, Algieri, a former kickboxing and karate champion, mostly threw short punches – hooks, crosses and uppercuts – believing that Pacquiao will have no choice but to bore in.
Aided by Keith Trimble, a massive guy who did the pad work, and strategist Tim Lane, who dressed up in complete Muay gear and even got up the ring bare-foot, Algieri appeared in high spirits despite rival trainer Freddie Roach’s peppery remarks about him and his team.
“What’s going to matter is what’s going to happen in the ring and not what he says,” said Algieri.
Told that the crowd will be very much against him, Algieri brushed it off, saying “it’ll be just me and him in the ring.”
And that ‘him’ Algieri said will be a souped-up version of the guy who upset ex-Pacquiao sparmate Ruslan Provodnikov last June.
“I have been through some incredible routines and you have to be in phenomenal shape to beat somebody like Pacquiao, who is always in great shape.”
Algieri credits Lane and Trimble and the entire staff in helping him get in top shape, describing his conditioning coach as a “diabolical genius.”
Still, despite the good vibes around the camp, Algieri’s team cautions the 30-year-old New Yorker from getting caught napping either on the ropes or in the corner.
“Don’t let yourself get cornered,” reminded Algieri’s cornermen.
Publicist Lee Samuels acknowledges that fact.
“If he does that and Manny gets him trapped, it’ll be over,” Samuels said.