MACAO, CHINA (November 21, 2014) – FREDDIE ROACH and TIM LANE, trainers for undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion CHRIS ALGIERIand Fighter of the Decade Congressman and defending WBO welterweight championMANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, respectively, hosted an international Media Conference Call on Thursday, from The Venetian Macao. Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs), from Huntington, NY on Long Island, has Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management, a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Upsets Inside the Ring. Aspiring, to attend medical school when he concludes his boxing career, Algieri has become sports Horatio Algieri story! All of New York is riveted to its only world champion as he prepares to battle Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs), the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani Province of the Philippines, and boxing’s only eight-division world champion.
It’s been quite a ride for you and Chris since beating Ruslan Provodnikov and becoming a world champion. What are your feelings headed into Saturday night’s fight?
TIM LANE: Looking forward to this weekend, it’s going to be a great weekend, Chris is in great shape, and yes we are looking forward to bringing that belt back to New York.
Adjusting to time change?
TIM LANE: It’s been great. Chris and I came over here for the world tour and we learned a couple things about what time we were going to fly and what we were going to eat and how we were going to do out workouts and we adjusted perfectly. It took Chris about one day to get on the time zone and it took me about two days. I couldn’t imagine it going any better or for Chris to be in a better spot considering the circumstances we are in right now.
Have there been any surprises during the promotion?
TIM LANE: What sticks out in my mind is how nice and generous people have been to us when it comes to the staff here at The Venetian, both in Las Vegas and Macao, to Top Rank to Star Boxing to Banner Promotions. The people here have been amazing – the respect and the love they have shown. Even the Filipino fans – we go to breakfast every morning and there have been mobs of people from all walks of life have shown so much love and that has surprised me. I thought we were coming to a battle-ground and were going to have to be kind of tough, and I would prefer not to be tough, I would prefer that when the bell rings we would take care of business and that outside of that we can all be human beings. It has been wonderful and that has been surprising to me.
How do you prevent being overwhelmed by the moment?
TIM LANE: Chris has prepared and dreamt about this night for many, many years and he has risen to the occasion of every event that he has been in and the greatest thing about Chris Algieri is the better his competition and the better his opposition, the better he is. He always rises to the occasion. What he did to Ruslan, he did it with one eye. I thought he would have a flawless victory against Ruslan. I did not think Ruslan would be our toughest challenge, but Chris ended up getting hit and hurt in the first round, and when we were offered the Manny Pacquiao fight, I believe that his is not as tough a fight as Ruslan. Styles make fights and Manny Pacquiao, being a lefty and what he brings to the table, I do not feel that to be as challenging as Ruslan. I feel that Chris will dominate Pacquiao more so than he did Ruslan — with two eyes.
You actually think Pacquiao is an easier fight than Provodnikov?
TIM LANE: Maybe not an easier fight, but a more simple fight. It is a simpler game plan for me to get across to Chris but the biggest thing is and people don’t know this, but Chris Algieri started his war in the ring with a lefty. He does better with lefties than he does with righties. I have been able to do certain things that have come out in his style against righties but against lefties, he is a totally different fighter.
Freddie is talking about a first round KO…
TIM LANE: And you know what? If I was in Freddie’s shoes I would be talking a lot too, because he knows what the outcome of the fight is going to be and he’s got to blow a bunch of smoke and I feel for them. I love Manny Pacquiao but he’s not beating Chris and I think Freddie is aware of that and that’s why he’s barking.
How is Pacquiao different than other lefties?
TIM LANE: Chris gained good experience in sparring with Zab Judah because he is very fast and arguably the best three or four round fighters ever in the world. You see what he did with Floyd Mayweather in the first four rounds. It’s all getting used to guys coming at you from that angle, but there’s no one out there that does it the way that Manny does it with his footwork and angles before he throws, but footwork and angles work when you are hitting a heavy bag and it looks really, really good and really, really fast and when you have zombies in front of you that don’t have footwork…you have a guy like Manny Pacquiao that looks amazing and you have a guy with footwork and is not there, those punches end up hitting air and missing and it ends up confusing him, so Manny’s footwork and his speed and his angles look good but Chris won’t be there and it’s going to be confusing for him.
What opponents of Pacquiao’s do you consider zombies (laughing)?
TIM LANE: I don’t want to disrespect anyone and say names but they were opponents that were big guys, or bigger than him, or who thought were bigger than him, that had no footwork. They were tough guys. The majority of the people in the boxing game are tough guys, because they are tough and they have come a long way, but they are the guys that don’t have footwork and stand in the middle of the ring and say ‘come on I am mucho macho.’ You can’t beat Manny Pacquiao like that. So yes, it’s the guys with no footwork.
Chris made a comparison to Margarito, who’s is about the same size as Chris, would that be a correct comparison?
TIM LANE: Good guess bro. Yes, Margarito is the guys who says, ‘come here in the middle of the ring and let’s trade, I’m tough, yeah, that’s the guy.’
Will Algieri be the ghost?
TIM LANE: Pretty much. He is going to be a master boxer. He is on top of his game. He is sharper than ever. He truly believes that this is The Chris Algieri Show, and so does his team. It’s going to be everything that should be great about boxing.
Do you foresee any surprises in the ring?
TIM LANE: I don’t know. There are a million things that could go on. I didn’t foresee Chris’ eye closing in his last fight. I don’t think about so many different variables because there are a million things to think about. I pretty much set my team up so that we can deal with anything. We have prepared Chris for any style that Manny brings. I have brought on the best cut man in the game. Whatever happens we are prepared for and anything could happen. I don’t itemize this and this and this because I would be going crazy thinking about it.
Could anything have been done better for the eye in the Provodnikov fight?
TIM LANE: I don’t know. Maybe it could have been done a little bit better but I had to make a decision that, we are coming to China, I need someone that travels well, I need someone that can deal with anything in another country. Stitch has been a good friend of mine for a long time, so when we made the fight I called him up and we had lunch and discussed a couple of things and I decided to go with him. Stitch brings a lot to the table other than being just a good cut man. He is a very vibrant human being that brings a lot of positivity to the table. I knew he would go well with the camp. I asked him if he could be in our camp every day he was in town to help wrap Chris and be part of the family and he has been just what I thought he would be as an addition to team Algieri.
This is the first time Chris has been able to train full time and not having his other jobs…
TIM LANE: The difference is he has been able to do his job. Get his rest. He and I have been able to go over his sparring and spend some good time together outside of training. Normally it’s like we train then he has to train somebody else and travel to another gym – he has to go here he has to go there. In this camp I would drive from my home in Las Vegas to The Venetian at 7 a.m. then I would stay there all day with him. We didn’t have to leave the building. Then I would go home at night. Then repeat. And on Sunday he would send me a shopping list and I would go get his food. It’s been great.
TIM LANE: Tune in on November 22nd. Chris Algieri, the new era of boxing, is going to show you who he is. Welcome to The Chris Algieri Show.
How was it training in the Philippines?
FREDDIE ROACH: It went really well. We had a great camp. Manny really buckled down the whole training camp and we are really ready for this fight.
Manny has mentioned this camp has been like old times…
FREDDIE ROACH: We brought back a lot of the old workout routines and with Justin Fortune, his old strength coach, being back on board. We went to the heavy bag a lot with really hard work. Not too much mitts where it is flashier – we got more strength. We wanted to get that fire back and start knocking people out again. It’s an old school approach. We did a lot of strength work, and heavy bag work and he is punching better than ever. He’s coming to a weight that is better for him – instead of fighting at 147 he’s fighting at 144. We are going to have our first knockout in a while.
Is there any remote chance he couldn’t get up for this fight?
FREDDIE ROACH: No not at all. He feels pressure from the public. He hasn’t knocked out anyone lately and he wants to get that fire back and he wants a knockout. It’s the first time he has ever told me that the old Manny will knock this guy out. He feels the pressure from the public that he hasn’t knocked anyone out in a while and at 144 the punch is coming back.
What does Algieri do well?
FREDDIE ROACH: He runs very well. He will run from Manny and he will have to cut the ring off and set traps. He will have to chase him down, but we will catch him.
Have the sparring partners emulated his style, as Algieri would fight?
FREDDIE ROACH: I think Postol does the best; he is a guy with a very good jab. And once he established that jab and gets going he is very difficult to deal with so he was the best sparring partner style-wise. But everyone worked out well. Mike Jones worked well for strength, if this guy wants to come at us; he took it to Manny a little bit. So whatever this guy brings to the table we are ready for.
What round is this going to end in?
FREDDIE ROACH: About three.
Is Mayweather on anyone’s mind?
FREDDIE ROACH: Sometime I tell Manny you don’t want to beat up Algieri too bad because then Mayweather is just going to run a little bit more. He is scared of us know and he is going to be more scared after we destroy this guy. But Mayweather may show some balls and step up to the plate.
Are you worried he will look too good and scare Mayweather away?
FREDDIE ROACH: Definitely. For sure.
FREDDIE ROACH: I was with Manny for seven weeks and Justin was there two weeks prior to that. Ten weeks all together. His strength and power is really there. Five, six, seven rounds a day on the heavy bag. We have been together a long time and things were getting too repetitive, so we went old school. Hard work and he responded greatly.
FREDDIE ROACH: Algieri thinks he is going to be the faster guy in there – he is going to be overwhelmed by Manny’s speed. You can’t judge Manny’s speed by watching him on TV. Once he gets in the ring, he’ll be shocked. That’s why this guy isn’t going to last more than three rounds.
Manny has not put guys away recently – do you think he will listen to you this time?
FREDDIE ROACH: I do – he knows that sportswriters and the public have questioned his power and lost his punch and so-forth. He is aware of that and not going to let this one slip by. Explosion and power is much better. I need a thicker body suit. I think it is the speed. The speed and power together means knockout and that’s what he has always done. At 147 he was fighting guys going into the ring at 160 who are more durable. He is going in at 144 and he will be faster. Next fight will be at 140 and I think he is a more natural 140 than 147.
Do you or Manny feel pressure for a KO?
FREDDIE ROACH: I don’t think it is pressure I think it is something that Manny wants. We know he can’t go out there looking for a knockout – you have to set it up and let it happen. With his speed and power and the way he is punching I believe it will happen. We are not just going out there looking to just get an early KO. We will set it up and it will be ready by design. Not by luck.
Will you be satisfied with a decision win?
FREDDIE ROACH: I am absolutely expecting a KO. He fought Ruslan Provodnikov who is a young fighter and Manny is an eight-division world champion. He is in way over his head.
FREDDIE ROACH: I want a great performance, but I want the Mayweather fight to happen, so maybe we will let it last a couple more rounds.
Does Manny talk about Floyd during training camp?
FREDDIE ROACH: We do talk about Floyd. The more time that goes by the more he talks about it. He wants the fight badly and after watching Floyd’s last couple fights he wants it even more. He wants to prove that he is the best fighter in the world and he will take that zero and give him his first one.
With a win, do you think Manny could be Fighter of the Year? It would be his second victory or the year over an undefeated world champion.
FREDDIE ROACH: I think we would need better opponents. When Manny knocks out Mayweather, he will get Fighter of the Year.
You have said you don’t think the Mayweather fight will happen…
FREDDIE ROACH: It’s been 3½ years that we have been waiting for this fight and I like challenges. He is a challenge and a good fighter but I am just so tired of people asking me if the fight is going to happen because I can’t give them a real true answer because this guy keeps running away, running away and running away. If he is the best fighter in the world, step up to the plate.
You have three fights on the PPV card. It’s going to be a busy night for you
FREDDIE ROACH: I have two great helpers and the staff works really hard. It’s a busy night – no doubt about that. Just wrapping hands will keep me really busy. My guy will be warming up Manny while the Shiming fight is going on then when it is over, I will go to the dressing room and do final warm-up with Manny. It’s part of being busy. It makes me work hard and I’ve lost about eight pounds – I was getting a little chubby – I like working and I like what I do.
What do you think about the undercard?
FREDDIE ROACH: DeMarco may steal the show. People think he’s washed up but he’s not, he punches real strong and he’s going up against a very good opponent who hasn’t looked really good in his last couple fights. People thought he may have lost those fights and got gifts but Christmas is not coming early this time, DeMarco is coming to knock you out. Shiming is fighting a guy with a great record but he’s not very well known because he is a Thai fighter, but he is a Manny Pacquiao look-a-like, but I doubt he can fight like Pacquiao and I am looking for Shiming to make a statement in this fight and get the title fight afterwards.
How was DeMarco’s camp, was it tough knowing his sister has cancer at home?
FREDDIE ROACH: We had some tough days. He would start thinking about that and almost cry. He cares about his sister and family a lot and it was very hard for him to be so far away in the Philippines and not being able to care for her and I told him that the best way to care for her is to win this fight to get her life back. I think we turned it into a positive thing and De Marco is in great shape and punching really hard and I expect big things about DeMarco.
Thought on Roy Jones the trainer?
FREDDIE ROACH: He was a great fighter, maybe he will retire soon, which I think he should and get into training and share his knowledge with the rest of the world. He was a great fighter and should be a great trainer and he knows the game and it will be a great competition no doubt about that.
Do you have advice for Jones for his training career?
FREDDIE ROACH: He knows if you work hard then good things happen. Teach them what you know. He was a very slick fighter and to have a guy like that in your corner can’t hurt. A guy like Jones is so talented they expect you to pick up things real quick but he’s got to be patient because no one was as good as he was. He can’t expect fighters to do what he wants right away. Take your time and they will learn it but not as fast as maybe you did.
What punch do you see Manny ending this fight with?
FREDDIE ROACH: His left hand. He knocked me down with it in training and I did a somersault.
How long do you foresee Manny fighting at a high level?
FREDDIE ROACH: As long as he is training like he is I don’t see an end yet. His dedication and desire to work is really unbelievable. He trains harder than any fighter I have ever known. As long s he keeps that up it is endless at this point. He stays in great shape and he trains really hard and I think this may have been the best training camp ever. His desire and focus has been really good for this training camp.
What do you think of Danny Garcia as an alternative to Mayweather?
FREDDIE ROACH: Garcia is a tough guy and one thing about Garcia is he will throw. He is a heavy puncher. He knocked out Amir Kahn. I think he is a very good opponent for Manny Pacquiao. I think Manny would box a little more and not exchange as much. It’s a fight I would like to see and a fight the fans would love to see and that’s what we want to give the people – good fights.
If Manny and Cotto both fight in the spring, will you do a joint camp?
FREDDIE ROACH: No I don’t think we are going to do a joint training camp. I need to keep those guys separate at Wild Card. They both deserve individual time. I just spoke to Cotto last night and he said December 7 he will be in my gym to get a head start on what we look forward to. Manny’s next fight will not be in China, it will be in the United States from what we see and that means training camp will be at the Wild Card. They both will be training at my gym in LA, but they will not be training together. It will be two totally separate training camps. We have done that before.
Would you want Cotto to stay at 160 or move down?
FREDDIE ROACH: There is great competition at 160. The fight we hope would be coming up is Alvarez and if he wins that fight Triple G is out there. Everybody is talking about he’s got nobody to fight. I think Miguel Cotto will kick his ass. I think he can outbox that guy. I don’t think he is unbeatable. He is a good fighter I know, but we love challenges and that’s a great challenge for us at 160.
Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with MP Promotions, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, Banner Promotions and Tecate, the Pacquiao-Algieri world welterweight championship event will take place This Saturday! November 22, at The Venetian® Macao’s Cotai Arena, and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
For fight updates go towww.toprank.com, or www.hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing,facebook.com/trboxeo, or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing. Use the Hashtag #PacAlgieri to join the conversation on Twitter.