Algieri Admits He Nearly Quit After Magomed Tragedy

Chris Algieri will complete a rags-to-riches ‘real-life Rocky' story when he fights Manny Pacquiao this weekend.

A year ago, on November 2, he nearly quit boxing. The would-be doctor from Long Island, New York, had just watched heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov almost die in the Madison Square Garden ring against Mike Perez.

Abdusalamov, a Russian, went ten gruelling rounds with Perez, suffering fractures to his cheekbones and hands. The next day he was in a coma after emergency surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain.

He left hospital only two months ago, in a wheelchair and unable to speak.

"A year ago, I was ready to quit," Algieri said this week, ready to fighty Manny Pacquiao in Macau.

The American admitted that what he saw in New York City that night shook him to the core. And he also felt his career was giouing nowhere. His small-town fights were not even televised.

"The Russian kid who almost died ... we had the same record. He was 17-0. The guy was undefeated. One fight ... and he was in a coma," said Algieri, who at the time was heavily in post-student debt after completing a degree in health science and a master's in clinical nutrition.

"I went to my promoter Joe DeGuardia and said, 'Listen, that guy (almost) died. I'm done'."

DeGuardia convinced him to take another fight and suddenly Algieri, whose biggest purse to that point had been less than $10 000, made a breakthrough.

In February he outpointed Emmanuel Taylor, then ranked No 4 light-welterweight by the IBF. A world ranking and a title shot followed.

Few gave the little-known Algieri any hope in June against the fearsome Russian WBO champion Ruslan Provodnikov. The feeling intensified when Algieri was knocked down twice in the first round.

But Algieri hadn't read the script. Just like Rocky in the movie, he bravely got up and, despite his right eye being swollen shut for the rest of the fight, he boxed clever and won a split decision.

Against Taylor he had picked up the biggest purse of his career to date: $15000. That increased to $115 000 for beating Provodnikov, which Algieri wisely used to clear his student loans.

Now, nine months on from the Taylor fight, his reward, win or lose come Sunday, will be in seven figures, albeit dwarfed by Pacquiao's reported $20 million pay day.

Algieri’s remarkable, rapid rise from complete unknown to an undefeated (20-0) world title challenger taking on one of the best fighters of his generation, prompted promoter Bob Arum to dub Algieri the "real-life Rocky".

The 82-year-old Arum is impressed by the clean-cut Algieri, who is a promoter's dream: intelligent, good-looking, smartly dressed and eloquent.

"This kid is wonderful," Arum said thie week. "His story is incredible. He really is like a real-life Rocky."

Algieri's first million-dollar payday will comfortably fund him when he chooses to go back to his medical studies, but the 30-year-old, who is of Italian/Argentine descent, says becoming a doctor can wait.

"We'll see how long this career lasts, or for how long I want to do it," Algieri said. “I want to do it now as much as I can, and as much as I want to. It's all about passion for me. If I ever lose my passion, I'm out."

Unlike a year ago, he doesn't intend that to be any time soon. If the result against Pacquiao is a heavy defeat, it may just change his mind.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by CAMPER on 11-21-2014

Good story. Win, lose, or draw, I'll be rooting for Algieri in the future. He has a bright future.

Comment by odogg8121 on 11-21-2014

[QUOTE=HanzGruber;15117039]Can't hate this guy. Unless you're Freddie roach or a Manlet keyboard warrior who hates America :usa2:[/QUOTE] I just hope all the talk translates in the ring

Comment by BufordTannen on 11-21-2014

Can't hate this guy. Unless you're Freddie roach or a Manlet keyboard warrior who hates America :usa2:

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Wilder: 12/1 Winner is The Best - Joshua Can't Beat Me, Fury, Ortiz! Diego De La Hoya Faints While Training To Make Weight, Fight Off Caleb Truax Very Motivated For Peter Quillin Crossroads Bout Michael Dutchover Aims To Clinch a Big Birthday Win Wilder: If Fury Can't Be Beat, Why The F*** Did He Hire Roach? Photos: Jaron Ennis, Raymond Serrano - Ready For ShoBox Clash Photos: Claressa Shields, Hannah Rankin - Size Up at Presser Photos: Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias - Face To Face, Final Presser Photos: Brandon Rios, Ramon Alvarez - Face To Face, Final Presser Vikas Krishan, Top Rank Promotional Pact Made Official Photos: Jarrell Miller, Bogdan Dinu - Face To Face at Final Presser Mayweather Says Nasukawa Fight is Back, Terms Being Finalized Photos: Kavaliauskas vs. Roberto Arriaza - Set For Eliminator Photos: Maurice Hooker, Alex Saucedo - Ready For War Photos: Luis Ortiz Putting in Work For Travis Kauffman Fight Photos: Jarrett Hurd Grinding Hard For Jason Welborn Bout Euro News: Tyron Zeuge, Mikhalkin vs. Boesel, More Hooker: An Old Midget Hurt Saucedo; Being Tough Won't Be Enough Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury To Be Carried in Movie Theaters Joe Joyce Welcomes Ordered Clash With Hughie Fury Fury: At Some Point, I'll Have To Stand and Fight With Wilder Photos: Roman Gonzalez Putting in Work For Guevara Clash Fury: Joyce Sparring Had Nothing To Do With Training Camp Move Canelo vs. Rocky Fielding - Undercard Details Revealed Michael Conlan vs. Jason Cunningham on Warrington-Frampton Anthony Yarde is Pumped To Land Spot on Wilder-Fury Card Daniel Dubois, Bradley Skeete, Bowen Back on December 15 Wilder Co-Trainer: Fury Like Rubik's Cube, But He Can Be Solved Haye: Usyk Can't Get Hit Like That By Joshua; He Has Work To Do Porter: Errol Spence is Getting More Yards - And I Don't Like It! Photos: Hooker, Saucedo - Go To War in Sparring in 2012 Tyson Fury on The Therapeutic Value of Training Warrington: Something Tells Me Frampton is Not The Same Guy Horn Realizes That He Must Be Dominate Mundine To Impress Mikey Garcia Ready: I Have Everything To Beat Errol Spence! Hearn: Jarrell Miller vs. Whyte or Chisora Possible in Early 2019 Felix Verdejo's Next Bout Eyed For United States in Early 2019 The Other Half of Junior Welterweight Fury: If I Fought Wilder In Manchester, We'd Sell 75,000 Tickets Photos: Claressa Shields, Nico Hernandez - Open Workouts

Latest Active Forum Threads