Chris Algieri makes weight to challenge Manny Pacquiao after first failing


Manny Pacquiao will defend his welterweight title against Chris Algieri on Saturday night in China/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


After first failing to make the 144-pound catch-weight limit for his challenge to welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, Chris Algieri on Friday came back and weighed in under at 143.6 pounds; he first weighed 144.4, stripped down and then weighed 144.2. He was given two hours to shed the extra ounces, and he did.

Pacquiao weighed 143.8 pounds.

The welterweight limit is 147 unless there is an agreed upon catch-weight.

Algieir and Pacquiao will tangle Saturday night at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China (on HBO pay-per-view).

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No lack of confidence for Chris Algieri ahead of fight with Manny Pacquiao



Chris Algieri/Photo courtesy of Star Boxing


It’s difficult to say what’s going to happen Saturday when Chris Algieri challenges Manny Pacquiao for his welterweight title in Macau, China (on HBO pay-per-view). One thing’s certain, Algieri will enter the fight full of confidence.

That much was evident this week when he touched on the notion that Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) allegedly has that hunger back that made him such a ferocious fighter.

“Now they tell me Manny has his killer instinct back,” Algieri said. “Well, come and try to get me.”

Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs), of Huntington, Long Island, N.Y., isn’t just blowing smoke to help the promotion. Remember, he’s the guy who got up from two first-round knockdowns to win a split-decision over then-junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov in June in Brooklyn. Anyone who can get up and do well after being decked twice in the first round by a vicious fighter like Provodnikov has big-time self-assurance. Don’t ever count out anyone of that ilk.

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Cuban defector Erislandy Lara says Cubans unable to defect would shine here

Erislandy Lara/photo by Associated Press

Cuba’s amateur program has always been top-notch, so one has to wonder how many of its great amateurs would have been fine  pros here in the States had they been able to freely come here to fight.

Sure, some have defected. But not everyone who tries succeeds. Erislandy Lara, a Cuban defector, first tried to defect in 2007. He was caught and returned. He defected again in 2008, that time successfully.

Lara, who Saturday will take on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view), agreed we have missed out on a lot.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Obviously, Cuba’s a very strict country. It’s a country that you’ve got to do a lot of things to get over here to be free. And there are a tremendous amount of fighters in Cuba that would be world champions or very good fighters over here that are never able to make it.”

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Luis Ortiz of Cuba puts unblemished record on line; Dominic Breazeale on undercard

Undefeated heavyweight Luis Ortiz of Miami via Cuba will put his record of 20-0 with 17 knockouts on the line when he takes on journeyman Monte Barrett of Queens, N.Y. on Thursday in the main event at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on Fox Sports 1).

Barrett, 42, is 35-10-2 with 20 knockouts. Ortiz is 35, but only turned pro four years ago.

Dominic Breazeale (9-0, 9 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian out of Alhambra, will square off with Nagy Aguilera (19-7, 13 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a heavyweight bout scheduled for eight rounds on the undercard.

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Catch ‘Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II’ tonight after Zou Shiming, Miguel Vazquez fights on HBO2

Tonight’s tape-delayed fights from Macau, China featuring Zou Shiming and Miguel Vazquez in separate fights, will be followed on HBO2 by the 15-minute documentary “Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II,’ which promotes next Saturday’s rematch between super middleweights Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera from the Alamodome in San Antonio (on HBO).

Shiming, the two-time gold-medal winner from China, will take on Yokthong Kokietgym of Thailand in the flyweight division. And Mexico’s Vazquez will defend his lightweight title against Denis Shafikov of Russia.

The fights begin at 5 p.m. West Coast time with the documentary to air about 7:15.

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‘No Mas’ to premiere tonight at 5 on ESPN

“No Mas,” a documentary chronicling the two 1980 welterweight title fights between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, will premiere tonight at 5 (Pacific time) on ESPN.

Duran won their first bout via 15-round decision June 20, 1980 in Montreal. Five months later, on Nov. 25 in New Orelans, Leonard won via 8th-round TKO when Duran quit, saying “No mas.”

This documentary, by Emmy award-winning  director Eric Drath, will air as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series.

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Ricardo Alvarez, brother of ‘Canelo’, to be featured Saturday on Fox Deportes

Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez of Mexico will square off with Humberto Martinez (27-7-1, 21 KOs) of Colombia in the super lightweight main event Saturday from Jalisco, Mexico (on Fox Deportes at 7 p.m. Pacific time).

Alvarez (21-2-3, 13 KOs) is the brother of former champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Another brother, Rigoberto, is a former interim champion.

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Timothy Bradley not worried about scoring for fight with Juan Manuel Marquez

With the recent scoring controversy in Las Vegas on Sept. 14 as well as one this past Saturday in Carson, it wasn’t surprising to hear a reporter ask Timothy Bradley during a conference call if he is concerned about getting a fair shake from the judges when he defends his welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Apparently, he’s not.

“Man, I am going to whoop his (butt) and the judges are going to give me the fight,” Bradley said. “Just like the U.S. Government, I am going to shut down Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12. I am going to win the fight – that is the bottom line.

“I’m not concerned about any judges or any ref. I am going to get in there and do my job and beat Marquez. And that’s it. And the world’s going to see it.”

On Sept. 14, C.J. Ross scored the junior middleweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at MGM Grand a 114-114 draw. Alvarez appeared to have won no more than one round. Fortunately, Mayweather still won a majority decision.

Last Saturday at StubHub Center, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was scored a unanimous-decision winner over Bryan Vera. Most ringside observers had Vera winning a close fight. A few had it even, this newspaper had Chavez winning 96-94. The scorecard of Carla Caiz was 96-94 for Chavez, which at least seemed reasonable. The outcry really came over the cards of Marty Denkin and Gwen Adair, who had Chavez winning by respective scores of 97-93 and 98-92. Adair’s card, in particular, seemed well off the mark.

The judges for Bradley-Marquez will be Robert Hoyle, Patricia Morse Jarman and Glenn Feldman. The referee will be Robert Byrd. The fight will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighs in at 172.4 pounds, makes new weight limit for Vera

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighed in at 172.4 pounds Friday, just under the 173-pound limit to which he agreed to fight Bryan Vera on Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson (on HBO).

Chavez, a former middleweight champion, told his promoter (Bob Arum) this week he was not going to be able to make the 168-pound super middleweight limit – the agreed upon weight that originally was 163 and then 165.

Arum and Vera’s promoter, Artie Pelullo, came up with the new 173-pouind limit Wednesday.

Vera, 31, of Austin, Texas, weighed 171.2 pounds. He is 23-6 with 14 knockouts. Chavez, 27, of Mexico, is 46-1-1 with 32 knockouts.

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It’s understandable that Bernard Hopkins won’t pick a winner for Mayweather-Alvarez

Ageless light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is in a tough spot. He fights for Golden Boy Promotions, so he might feel almost obligated to pick stablemate Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their junior middleweight title fight Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay–per-view).

Then again, he might want to pick Mayweather because he is favored and most think he’ll win. Well, Hopkins took the easy way out, and that’s understandable.

“This fight is 50-50,” Hopkins said. “It can go either way. Floyd has speed and wisdom. ‘Canelo’ is strong and big. This is a massive fight and the outcome will impact both of their careers in a major way.”

Hopkins, 48, will defend his title against Karo Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (on Showtime).

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