Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri will collide Saturday in Macao, China. | Photo: TJ De Santis/Sherdog.com
Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri squared off Wednesday before a throng of media at The Venetian Macao in advance of their Sunday showdown for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight championship.
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) is an eight-time world titlist and one of the most popular fighters the sport has seen. He faces off with Algieri (20-0-0, 8 KOs), who defeated noted slugger Ruslan Provodnikov by split decision in June to set up the improbable championship match.
“I think, on Sunday, it’s going to be an exciting fight and people will enjoy it,” said Pacquiao. “Not just the people at The Venetian Macao, but all the people around the world who will watch it.”
Algieri, a New Yorker who has been described as a real-life Rocky Balboa, made clear that he understands the opportunity in front of him.
“The talking is done, the hard work is done, the training is done. I’m not going to say too much,” said Algieri. “Make sure you tune in.”
Chinese boxing hero Zou Shiming will square off with Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym in a flyweight eliminator bout. Shiming (5-0-0, 1 KO) -- a winner of three Olympic medals, including two golds -- has an early-2015 date with IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng penciled in, should he get by Onesongchaigym (27-0-2, 12 KOs) on Sunday.
Related: Pacquiao vs. Algieri Play-by-Play
The man whom promoter Bob Arum has touted as the best amateur boxer of all time, Vasyl Lomachenko, will face Thai veteran Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (52-1-0, 33 KOs) in defense of Lomachenko’s WBO world featherweight title. The Ukranian Lomchenko (2-1-0, 1 KO), a veteran of more than 400 amateur bouts and the winner of back-to-back Olympic gold medals, won his first world title in just his third professional fight and will defend it for the first time against Piriyapinyo.
Junior welterweight champion Jesse Vargas, with new trainer Roy Jones Jr. in tow, will take on Antonio DeMarco in the first fight of the pay-per-view broadcast. Vargas (25-0-0, 23 KOs) will put his perfect record on the line against former lightweight champion DeMarco (31-3-1, 13 KOs) for the WBA title.
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