Pacquiao camp wary of 'surprise package' Algieri

Hall of Fame trainer says undefeated American is one of the most exciting fighters around and could be a 'surprise package'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 10:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 9:48am

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has warned that Chris Algieri could be a "surprise package" when he faces Manny Pacquiao in November, saying the little-known American had earned his shot against the Filipino superstar.

Promoters Top Rank signed the undefeated 30-year-old Algieri to face the eight-division world champion in a surprise move, but Pacquiao's trainer said they were not expecting an easy victory at Macau's CotaiArena.

Roach, who is getting China's two-time gold medallist Zou Shiming in shape for this weekend's "Champions of Gold", said Algieri was one of the most exciting fighters in the world and would be "very difficult to fight" on November 23.

Algieri is undefeated and he's got a good record. He's in good shape. It's not going to be an easy fight
Trainer Freddie Roach

Algieri was an unknown last month until he grabbed Russian Ruslan Provodnikov's World Boxing Organisation (WBO) light welterweight title by a split decision in a massive upset.

"He fought Ruslan and won the title. Algieri is undefeated [20-0, 8 KOs] and he's got a good record.

"He's got college degrees and he's in good shape. It's not going to be an easy fight," said Roach of the matchup that will see the Filipino fighter return to the scene of his unanimous victory against US-Mexican Brandon Rios last November.

"Brandon Rios was more of a brawler. It's a new generation coming up and that includes Algieri. He will be trying to outbox us. Pacquiao's experience should take over. The height [advantage] we can take care of, but we have to come a lot closer," Roach said of Algieri's 1.8-metre frame.

"Algieri is doing well, but how good is he really? He's a little bit of a mystery.

"The thing is that he won his [title] fight, so he has the title. It was promised to him [by Top Rank] that he if won the title he would fight Pacquiao, so his dream has come true.

"You can' take that away from him. That doesn't happen by accident. It's a great achievement. He's a very good athlete so we'll see.

"We will begin the training camp after we go across to China to promote the fight, so we will be busy," said Roach, who added the bout would be at a catchweight of 144 pounds.

Meanwhile, Roach was confident Zou would win his fifth straight professional fight on Saturday night against Colombia's Luis De La Rosa and move a step closer to a possible world title bout in November.

"We had a lot of training camps. We started in New York and then we came back to Los Angeles and now we are in Macau. He's [Zou] in great shape. He's a pound over right now and he's going to shake it out a little bit and weigh less. He's doing very well," said Roach.

"It looks like he will dominate his fight. He will be in a title fight after this," said the American confidently.

"He might need one more prep fight before November, depending on his progress. He'll have to go to 12 [rounds] from 10. He's great where he is now.

"It will be great to have him fight on the same card as Manny Pacquiao."