Iconic Filippino boxer Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring to face Chris Algieri this coming November 22nd, in Macau, China. The opening line at 5Dimes Sportsbook sees Pac-man a massive (-1500) favorite over the upstart Algieri, who is returning (+700). There is no doubt that Chris Algieri is writing a storybook career for himself so far. Algieri is 28 years old, and he is undefeated as a professional boxer at 20-0. In his last outing, the former world champion kickboxer (he was also undefeated in that sport) went to war with highly regarded world champion Ruslan Provodnikov and walked out with the WBO Light Welterweight title. There is no doubt that Algieri had a special night at the Barclay’s Center against Provodnikov. A heavy underdog, he was dropped twice in the opening round, and Provodnikov looked ready to steamroll his way over an outclassed opponent. Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank was there, in part to see how Provodnikov would do against Pacquaio after the fight. So Bob Arum saw a little bit of the Algieri magic that night, and the reward was Algieri’s true date with destiny. The same cliches that applied to the Provodnikov fight apply in spades to this match. Algieri counts on his boxing skill and he showed an unexpectedly high level against Provodnikov, when he was touted as nothing more than a converted kickboxer. Algieri has at least proven he has legit skills in boxing as well, he will have height and reach advantages that he knows how to use, and he can take worlds of punishment to get his shot off. But the skill difference with Pacquiao should be so different that this will be a mismatch. The line reflects that. Algieri should not win, just like he didn’t have a chance with Provodnikov. But Bob Arum saw the magic, and though he is looking to keep the Manny train rolling, Arum knows a great story when he sees it. If Algieri does pull off the miracle, ole Bob can work with him as well.
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