by Jackie Kallen
When Chris Algieri steps into the ring in Macao tomorrow night against Manny Pacquiao he will be like David vs. Goliath or Rocky vs. Appolo Creed. Talk about being an underdog, Algieri is under the underdog. In a recent survey of 30 boxing experts, none picked him to beat Pacman. None as in zero.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
It appears that the native Huntington, Long Island boxer is enjoying the controversy. When people claim that he has no right being in the same ring with Manny, he smiles and acknowledges that he is lucky to have the chance. When critics called him a one-hit wonder after his split decision win over Ruslan Provodnikov for the WBO Junior Welterweight title, he just held his belt up proudly.
Algieri is a smart guy. He’s 30 years old and knows he is in for the fight of his life. Manny Pacquiao has had more KO’s than Algieri has had total fights. With only 20 professional bouts under his belt, Algieri is a novice compared to the 35-year old Filipino with a record of 56-5-2. Pacman is an icon. A legend. Algieri is practically unknown. So this is the greatest opportunity of Algieri’s life.
Because of this fight and the publicity accompanying it, Algieri is now more known and far more recognizable. He has done countless interviews and has the chance to show the world who he is. And what we’ve seen is impressive. This young man is movie star-handsome, articulate, and seemingly humble.
To add to his resume, Algieri has a bachelors degree in healthcare science and a masters degree from NYIT. He plans to go medical school and practice sports medicine. The Italian/Argentinian has strong roots in New York and has built a solid fan base there.
Despite the fact that no one other than his own team predicts victory, Algieri has expressed confidence and calmness. He believes that he has a plan and will be able to execute it on the older, shorter man.
Timothy Bradley, who has fought Pacquiao twice, feels that the only way that Algieri has a chance is to box Pacquiao and give him a lot of movement. He knows first-hand that Pacman prefers it when his opponent stands right in front of him. He doesn’t enjoy chasing his prey. Movement frustrates him.
However unlikely it is, it would be interesting to see a handsome, bright guy like Algieri bring the title home. He’d be toast of the media and the next thing you know, he’d be partying with the Kardashians. If this were a Hollywood script, we’d have a new champion tomorrow night. Unfortunately for algieri—it’s not.