Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao (left) and Chris Algieri pose for the media at a Wednesday press conference in Macau, China.  (Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea)

Special to the Filipino Reporter

MACAU — Despite sharing the Empire State, boxing fans from the Big Apple are not too keen on fellow New Yorker Chris Algieri’s chances against future Hall of Fame boxer Manny Pacquiao this Saturday.

Algieri, 30, of Huntington, N.Y., is a 6-1 underdog to Pacquiao in a welterweight showdown at The Cotai Arena here in Macau, China.

And his fellow New Yorkers are picking the Filipino boxing superstar from General Santos City in the Philippines.

“Pacquiao wins, 12 round unanimous decision. Pacquiao will probably surprise him in the earlier rounds with a knockdown. From there I think Algieri will just try to survive. His speed and power will wear him down,” said Filipino-American Christian Jordan of Flushing, N.Y.

Pacquiao will be defending his WBO welterweight belt for the first time, after recovering it from Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas last June.

In Algieri, he will face a younger, taller and a fighter with a significant reach advantage over him.

This is where the fight gets interesting.

How will the 5’6” Pacquiao deal against a 5’10” Algieri who is armed with a slashing jab as both a defensive and offensive weapon?

Those factors were enough for another Fil-Am boxing fan, Michael Rabadam of Columbus, Ohio, who is leaning towards picking Algieri over Pacquiao.

That and the fact that he was born and raised on Long Island like Algieri.

“Algieri by decision. I’ve gone back and forth. Tough one. I may change by fight night,” said Rabadam.

Another factor that is making Rabadam doubt Pacquiao this Saturday is the involvement of the ring superstar in other activities outside of boxing.

This year, Pacquiao has incorporated himself in another professional sport.

The boxing champion is now a professional basketball player in Asia’s oldest professional league — the Philippine Basketball Association or the PBA.

He was drafted 11th overall by expansion team Kia Motors and he was also hired as the team’s head coach.

“How committed has Manny been with everything he’s involved in? I am just concerned how spread thin he appears to be. Chris Algieri has the reach on Pacquiao. I want to see if Pacquiao still has the lightening fast hands that he had back in the day,” Rabadam questions.

But Jefel Mon Ualat of Elizabeth, N.J. believes that the Filipino star knows that he cannot afford to lose this fight if he wants to make the most of his last remaining fights in his illustrious career.

“If Pacquiao losses this fight, it will probably be by a close one. With a KO drought, Pacquiao will deliver a surprise Round 6 knockout,” said Ualat.

Jason Lord, who is also from Long Island, is not only picking Pacquiao but also shares Ualat’s assessment that Pacquiao, despite the absence of a knockout-performance in five years, is too much of a hurdle for the young Algieri to face.

“I think you will see a great performance out of Manny. [Floyd] Mayweather is waiting in the wings. I am not sure if I see a knockdown as Manny is a little tentative since the [Juan Manuel] Marquez fight but he probably will only lose a round or two if that. The killer instinct in Pacquiao is long gone but I think he will hurt Algieri once or twice but not finish him. Pacquiao by decision.”

Oddsmakers in Las Vegas agree with Jordan, Ualat and Lord.

Sports book betting stations like Mandalay Bay Wednesday require an $800 bet for Pacquiao to win a meager $100, while a $100 wager on Algieri will win a bettor a whopping $500 in return.

Also, odds are against that the fight will end early regardless of the winner of the main event offering which is being held at an odd time — a Sunday morning from Macau.

A $200 wager is needed to win $100 on a proposition that the fight will go 11 full rounds and beyond, while a $100 bet that the fight will end between Rounds 1 to before the bell signals the end of Round 11, will yield the potential bettor another $160.

The fight will be carried live on HBO Pay-Per-View in the United States from the former Portuguese colony.

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