By Keith Idec
Chris Algieri has heard all the hype about Errol Spence Jr. becoming the next huge thing in boxing.
Algieri still doesn’t know if it’s justifiable because he isn’t the least bit impressed with the type of opponents Spence has boxed during his three-year pro career. The former WBO 140-pound champion does know that he is by far the best foe Spence has agreed to face.
The welterweights are scheduled to fight April 16 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in the main event of a doubleheader that’ll be televised by NBC in prime time.
“Everyone talks about what they talk about [related to Spence], but I haven’t seen it in the ring yet,” Algieri told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Wednesday in New York. “He hasn’t fought anyone anywhere near the caliber that I am or anywhere near the caliber of fighter I’ve been fighting the past three years. So it’s kind of hard to make an assessment so far. But I guess we’ll see on fight night.”
The 32-year-old Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs), of Huntington, New York, has boxed Ruslan Provodnikov, Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan in three of his past four fights. Though 1-2 in those bouts, Algieri believes those experiences give him a significant advantage over the 26-year-old Spence (19-0, 16 KOs), a southpaw from DeSoto, Texas.
“I think the real difference here is the experience level, the fact that I’ve been in these big fights,” Algieri said. “I’ve been to press conferences, I’ve been interviewed, I’ve been under those lights, I’ve walked towards the ring of a main event, before a sellout crowd. So there’s so something to say about all that. That experience level can really pay dividends on fight night, when at the highest level it’s centimeters that makes the difference.”
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.