MACAU – Manny Pacquiao was all ferocity inside the ring during his title match against Chris Algieri Sunday.
Yet deep inside, he still felt some compassion for his badly outclassed challenger.
The 35-year-old welterweight champion disclosed feeling sorry for the 5-foot-10 New Yorker especially after reviewing the tape of the fight in the comfort of his elegant suite on the 38th floor of The Venetian here.
“Naawa ako sa kanya nung pinapanood (ko 'yung tape). Inexperienced talaga, tapos sinabak agad,” he said of Algieri, whose fight with Pacquiao served as the biggest in his young, six-year career as a pro.
“Aamba pa lang ako, naka-cover na siya,” said Pacquiao, gesturing a punch to Algieri at the side of the body. “Kung experienced ka, hindi ka matataranta. Hahanap ka ng counter o iilag ka.”
Algieri has only fought 20 times prior to his showdown against Pacquiao, his biggest a win over Ruslan Provodnikov in which he rose from two first-round knockdowns to eke out a split decision win and wrest the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight belt.
He was just as resilient against Pacquiao after surviving a total of six knockdowns – or an average of one knockdown per two rounds – but never really had any chances of pulling off an upset. Algieri was down twice in the sixth and ninth rounds.
“Ang awa ko sa kanya, kahit hindi siya experienced, nag-sikap talaga siya. Nag-try siya ng best niya. Nakakaawa rin ba,” said the champion just before taking his late breakfast with wife Jinkee and new-born baby Israel on Monday before flying back to General Santos City.
“Nag-adjust siya (Algieri). Pag hindi siya nag-create, ako mag-create. 'Pag mag-create naman siya, counter ako. Kaya the more na mas marami siyang tama pag siya ang nag-create na una,” said Pacquiao, who emerged from the fight with nothing but a slight shiner just under his left eye.
But Pacquiao never felt any of those while battling Algieri in the ring, definitely not especially after connecting on 187 out of a total of 410 bombs thrown against the durable challenger.
He denied having eased up against the 30-year-old American in the final two rounds which allowed Algieri to finish the fight on his feet.
“Solid punches talaga 'yung binibitawan ko. Every round, looking for knockout ako,” he said. “Andun `yung killer instinct ko.”
Still, Pacquiao was impressed with Algieri’s fighting heart, saying, “matatag din 'yung bata.”
He sees Algieri capable of coming back following the devastating loss he suffered just like other champions, including himself.
“Maka-recover naman siguro,” he said of Algieri.