By Ryan Maquiñana
Unbeaten junior welterweight Chris Algieri (15-0, 7 KOs) spoke to BoxingScene.com over the weekend to give the fans an update following his unanimous decision over Raul Tovar in July.
The 28-year-old native of Huntington, N.Y., owns quite a unique story. The former champion kickboxer owns a master’s degree and plans to become a ringside doctor once his fighting days are done.
BoxingScene.com: You train in both New York, where you’re originally from, and Oxnard, Calif., at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. Have you already started preparing for your next fight?
Chris Algieri: I’m in New York staying in shape, but I’ll be heading over to Oxnard in the next two or three weeks. They’ve already offered a few guys for me to face, but I’ll let my managers [Damian Ramirez and Humberto Romero] handle that.
BoxingScene.com: What have you learned so far in your brief time with Robert Garcia?
Chris Algieri: In Oxnard, you have to learn fast. When you’re sparring with guys like Brandon Rios and Marcos Maidana, if you’re not getting better every session, you’re getting worse, because they’re getting better every time out there. They’re learning your style, and they force you to really step up your game in every single session. That’s helped me progress a lot faster.
BoxingScene.com: You definitely have to be able to fight on the inside if you train in Oxnard. How much has being there helped your ability to fight in the pocket?
Chris Algieri: I think it’s actually the opposite. I’ve actually gotten better on fighting on the outside. Out in Oxnard, I’m forced to box and use my reach and my speed. Over here in New York, I’m bigger and stronger than a lot of guys here and I can use my athleticism to get by.
When you’re going up against guys with 35 or 40 fights, you can’t just rely on your athleticism and speed, you have to use your length and boxing skills, your defense, and just being a smarter fighter.
BoxingScene.com: What’s the next step for you? Do you have any immediate goals for the rest of 2012?
Chris Algieri: Joe DeGuardia, my promoter, has been doing a good job keeping me busy and getting me hometown fights, but for me, I really want TV exposure. I think it’s time for me to step up and for me to be seen on a national stage.
My local fans are great, but I need more fans to see what I do in person live or on a television screen. I’m looking forward to the step up in competition, and hopefully, I can get a TV date by the end of the year. I want to fight better guys so I can put my skills on display.
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.