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22nd Nov 2014

Pacquiao v Algieri is our pick of boxing over the weekend

Pacquiao is facing a serious test of his mettle in Chris Algieri

Darragh Murphy

Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew meet tonight at The Echo Arena in Liverpool but the pervasive coverage of their rematch has ripped away all attention from a much more interesting catch-weight bout taking place in Macau.

Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) will meet the unbeaten Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) at 144lb tonight in a fight that could be vital if we are to see the most anticipated superfight of this century.

The 36-year-old Filipino has looked far from his best in recent outings but Floyd Mayweather Jr is never far from his thoughts by the sounds of what he’s had to say this week.

Speaking about a potential bout with Mayweather, Pacquiao said: “My killer instinct is back and victory will be ours.

“I would like it to happen. I’ve told him my phone line is open 24 hours, seven days a week.”

Talking about his opponent tonight, eight-weight world champion Pacquiao is confident, despite going up against a fighter who is just reaching his prime as Algieri is, having secured the WBO light welterweight belt in June.

Pacquiao said: “I’m not predicting the fight but want to entertain people and make it a wonderful fight for the fans.

“He’s young, never experienced a loss and that’s why I’m excited because I love to fight undefeated fighters.”

‘I’m not underestimating him, he’s a world champion and I have to focus but the advantage I have is my experience, power and quickness.”

Pacquiao’s trainer, the boxing icon Freddie Roach doesn’t believe the hype train that has surrounded Algieri ahead of tonight’s bout and has predicted a first-round KO from his fighter.

“They’re trying to make out like Algieri is the next Rocky. But this isn’t a movie.”

Hat-tip to BBC Sport