By Keith Idec
Jose Peralta and Chris Algieri have signed contracts to meet in a 10-round, junior welterweight fight Feb. 23 in Huntington, N.Y., Algieri’s hometown.
The Peralta-Algieri fight will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network as the co-feature of one of its “Fight Night” telecasts. The 22-year-old Peralta (10-1, 6 KOs), of Passaic, N.J., didn’t hesitate to commit to boxing the unbeaten Algieri (15-0, 7 KOs) in his backyard because he knows this is just the type of opportunity he has sought.
“He was looking to step it up and he feels he’s ready,” said Pat Lynch, Peralta’s manager. “To start the New Year off on NBC Sports, it’s great. He knows how important it is for him to look good in this fight because if you win a fight like this on NBC Sports, you’re in the television mix.
“I believe he has a style that’s great for television, so this is the fight that can really propel his career. It’s a great spot for him, a great opportunity.”
Peralta exploited his last noteworthy opportunity in October 2010, when he out-pointed previously undefeated New York prospect Christian Martinez (4-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round fight in Atlantic City. The native Puerto Rican has been matched relatively carefully in the six fights he has won since defeating Martinez, despite that his promoters at Main Events expect him to make the tricky transition from prospect to contender.
In Algieri, a former world kickboxing champion, Peralta will encounter another fighter who has been moved pretty cautiously since he made his pro boxing debut in April 2008. The 28-year-old Algieri has won his last four fights at The Paramount, where he’ll oppose Peralta, whose lone loss was a six-round majority decision defeat to Walter Castillo (20-2, 14 KOs) four years ago in Managua, Nicaragua, Castillo’s hometown.
“I think [Peralta] will be a little too seasoned for [Algieri] and will put on a little too much pressure,” said Alex Devia, Peralta’s trainer. “[Algieri] will get overwhelmed. It’s a great fight for [Peralta]. Everything that [Peralta] does well, that’s where Algieri lacks. I think it’s a perfect fit.”
The main event of the NBC Sports Network telecast Feb. 23 will match undefeated Ukrainian heavyweight prospect Vyacheslav Glazkov (14-0, 10 KOs) against Philadelphia’s Malik Scott (35-0, 12 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.