By: Hans Themistode
Chris Algieri has heard most of the names. From WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo to former super middleweight champion David Benavidez. All of those names, and several others, are given a very good chance at beating Canelo Alvarez should they ever meet in the ring.
Not mentioned amongst those names, is unified welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. The 147 pounder has always been lauded for his skills. But truth be told, many have wondered how in the world the benign knockout artist even fights at his current weight.
Over the years, Spence Jr. has mentioned the possibility of moving up to the middleweight division in order to land a shot against Alvarez. While Spence Jr. is on virtually every pound-for-pound list, practically no one gives him much of a chance against the Mexican native.
Simply put, Spence Jr. is just too small.
In the opinion of Algieri though, he doesn’t exactly agree with those opinions. In his point of view, Spence Jr. actually has all of the ingredients to pull off the upset.
“He’s got a shot. A good one,” said Algieri during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “Spence is fast, he’s also a lot more technical than people give him credit for. He also pressures nonstop. With Spence, he won’t be a big guy but he is more than big enough to make 160.”
Having shared the ring with him, Algieri knows exactly how good Spence Jr. actually is. In April of 2016, Algieri faced the Dallas native at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. While he boxed well early on, the pressure Algieri alluded to from Spence Jr. caught up to him as he was dropped in round four and hit the canvas two more times in the following round before the referee waved things off completely.
In the mind of Algieri, it isn’t just that Spence Jr. hits incredibly hard. It’s more so about the style in which he fights. For the past several years, Alvarez has faced much bigger fighters. From the likes of former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev to former unified super middleweight champion Callum Smith who held a ridiculous seven-inch height and eight-inch reach advantage.
None of their physical attributes prevented Alvarez from picking them apart. But while most have sat back in awe at Alvarez for taking on those challenges, Algieri views things a bit differently.
“With the big guys, they throw shots then rest then throw shots then rest. That’s why Canelo likes fighting bigger guys. With Spence, he won’t be a big guy but he is more than big enough to make 160.”
Still, even with Algieri tipping his cap to Spence Jr., he’s still giving the slight edge to Alvarez.
“I would still favor Canelo but Spence has a really good shot at winning. He’s a terrific fighter.”