by Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri who faces “fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao at a catch-weight of 144 pounds in a clash for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title in Macau on November 22 says his punching power should not be underestimated simply because he has only 8 knockouts in 20 wins and remains undefeated.
In an exclusive overseas telephone interview with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard/Viva Sports, the articulate Algieri said “I hit harder than people think” and claimed even Russian beast Ruslan Provodnikov, whom he beat by a split decision to win the 140 pound title last June 14, felt his power and so have his sparring partners.
Although he was dropped twice in the opening round and his right eye was almost shut by the 8th round. Algieri fought his heart out to win and received accolades from several boxing writers for his gallantry against the odds.
The well-educated Algieri said his education is an asset that “helps in making decisions and I use my brains to fight,” aside from the fact that his best weapon is a stinging jab which even Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach has recognized.
Algieri who stands 5’10” said “I have special skills which I can keep up the whole fight. I know how to use my reach advantage and my jab is the key. This is boxing.”
Algieri said he doesn’t pay much attention to the odds where at last report he was a 1 to 16 underdog. He scoffed at the bookmakers whom he said “don’t know who I am.”
Algieri said he is “doing great” in the initial phase of his training for the Pacquiao fight and said “I never really stop doing the basic boxing stuff while staying in shape.”
He said training camp will begin in early September after the press tour to drum up support for the fight with stops in Macau where the fight will take place at the classy Cotai Arena, then move to Shanghai where both Pacquiao and he are expected to watch a fight card at the new Mercedes Benz Arena which will feature Filipino southpaw Randy Petalcorin in a clash for the WBA light flyweight interim title against Panama”s Walter Tello before stops in New York and Los Angeles.
The light welterweight champion’s trainers are Keith Trimble and Tim “Bring the pain” Lane.
Algieri said the Pacquiao fight “is an opportunity to be on the main stage with a champion like Pacquiao who is a living legend.”
Algieri indicated he is looking forward to “a great fight” and is “hoping to win and show the world who I am.”
The 30 year old Algieri is a well-rounded athlete having begun martial arts training in Chinese Kenpo when he was 12 years old. He received his black belt at the age of 15 and began competing in amateur kickboxing when he was 16. While in high school Algieri took up wrestling and eventually was named captain of the St. Anthony’s varsity squad.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia notes that Algieri has a bachelor’s in healthcare science from Stony Brook University and a master’s from the New York Institute of Technbology. A clinical nutritionist who works with private clients, he also enjoys cooking. Algieri has reportedly expressed his desire to go to medical school and combine his experience as a world-class athlete and his knowledge of nutrition to spearhead a practice designed to treat competitive athletes without the use of unnecessary surgeries, pharmaceuticals or long lay-offs.