MACAU – During the build-up to his fight with Manny Pacquiao, actor Sylvester Stallone called Chris Algieri "a real-life Rocky." And, as it turns out, he was.
Just like Stallone's fictional Rocky Balboa didn't win the title in "Rocky," Algieri came up short as well.
Manny Pacquiao knocked Algieri down six times Saturday and was never threatened as he cruised to a laughably easy unanimous decision victory before a sell-out crowd of 13,202 in their bout for the WBO welterweight title at Cotai Arena.
Algieri offered no resistance, appearing from the early stages of the fight as if he were more interested in surviving than in fighting and trying to win.
His plight was complicated by the bizarre advice he was getting in the corner from trainer Tim Lane. After the ninth round, when Algieri had already been down five times, Lane said to him, "We are exactly where we need to be."
Pacquiao still hasn't had a knockout since he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round in Las Vegas in 2009, but this was far different.
Algieri offered nothing in return and rarely threw his hands. He kept his hands high and circled away constantly, neglecting to either plant his feet and throw or to even fire off a counter.
As a result, Pacquiao chased him aggressively and was cracking him with big shots.
"Manny is the best in the world, as Freddie [Roach, Pacquiao's trainer] said," Algieri said.
Pacquiao was desperate for the finish, to fend off the critics who keep noting the passage of time since he ended a fight early, but more to make a point to archrival Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Back channel talks between the highest-level executives at HBO and Showtime are ongoing, though that's no guarantee that the bout will ever come to fruition.
But Pacquiao needed to come up with a good performance to revive interest in the mega-bout and he did. Algieri, though, didn't make it at all competitive or interesting.
"The master boxer was given a master class by Professor Pacquiao," Roach said. "I was disappointed by Algieri. All he did was run. He didn't show the heart or the [expletive] he did versus Ruslan Provodnikov."
Algieri, who has two college degrees and aspires to become a physician, got up from two first-round knockdowns in that bout to win a disputed decision.
As Roach said, though, Algieri fought in the Provodnikov fight, letting his hands go and keeping himself in the bout. Against Pacquiao, he had his hands high throughout and literally ran circles around the ring.
It was a disappointing effort for a pay-per-view audience that had to shell out $65 to watch the bout in high definition.
But Algieri, whose bold pre-fight talk enraged Roach, gave Pacquiao his due afterward.
"It's just not his hand speed," Algieri said. "He's a great fighter. He does everything well. Manny has perfected his style of fighting. I was never hurt, but I did catch a really bad shot on one of the knockdowns."
Roach said before the fight that he had Pacquiao drill on the heavy bag in order to increase his power.
It apparently worked, though at least one of the knockdowns referee Geno Rodriguez called appeared to be a slip.
But the focus post-fight was, as always with Pacquiao, on Mayweather. And Pacquiao, who has a commercial about Foot Locker that just was released that pokes fun at the fight the Mayweather bout hasn't happened, left no doubt about his interest in facing the world's best pound-for-pound boxer.
"I really want that fight," he said. "The fans deserve that fight."
The fans deserved a better fight than they paid for on Saturday, but at least Pacquiao was the aggressive, attacking fighter of old.
Six knockdowns wasn't a bad night's work; it just would have been more impressive if the opponent wasn't just in safety-first mode.