Chris Algieri Has No Desire To Cross Over To MMA

By Jake Donovan

A ridiculous 20-year ban in place for mixed martial arts left New York State as the only location in the U.S. to have disallowed sanctioning in the sport. A long overdue reversal of such policy took place on Tuesday, with the historic ruling met with plans from combat sports giant Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to bring its game to town on the first available date.

The move has been met with overwhelming embrace by many, but also raises the question of how it will affect the next generation of athletes in the New York area in determining which combat sports field to pursue. It was a fair inquiry that was posed to Chris Algieri, the former 140 lb. titlist from the Huntington section of Long Island, New York with a background in wresting and on a championship level in kickboxing.

His brief title reign was preceded by his becoming a sizeable draw in his hometown. The charismatic Long Islander generated interest to the point of his promoter Star Boxing continuing to stage events in front of sold-out crowds at Paramount Theatre in Huntington despite his long ago outgrowing the circuit.

chris-algieri (3) (720x480)_1

Algieri’s next ring appearance will come on April 16, where he serves – on paper – as the stiffest test to date for unbeaten welterweight contender Errol Spence. The bout will air live on NBC from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Algieri will fight for the fourth time in his past five starts. It’s where he claimed his 140-pound title in an upset win over Ruslan Provodnikov in 2014 and where he will continue to carry on his goal of becoming a two-division champ.

Should he not reemerge among the title fray, there are plenty of other options for Algieri, given his combat sports background and his college Master’s degree in clinical nutrition. One such option he emphatically removes from the table is ever doubling as an MMA fighter.

“That is a resounding no,” Algieri (21-2, 8KOs) firmly stated during a media conference call that briefly deviated from his upcoming bout with Spence (19-0, 16KOs). “I am living my dream now. I told myself as a child I wanted to be a championship boxer. Boxing for me is a passion. If the passion is not there, then there is no need for me to be doing this. UFC is not a passion.”

Of course, boxing became a passion due to it functionally serving as the only game in town, at least on the pro level and from the perspective of making a lucrative living. Algieri was all of 13 years old when MMA was banned in New York State in 1997, at which point he was in the process of making the transformation from karate to kickboxing, before adding kickboxing and – of course – boxing to his résumé. 

But what if he grew up with MMA – and specifically UFC – as part of his every day life?

“That could be possible,” Algieri, 32, admits of having possibly crossed over at some point. “I can’t say definitely not. If I grew up a different way, growing up to different heroes, who’s to say I don’t see things a different way.”

What he will be seeing on April 16 is an unbeaten rising young star deemed by many as the standout member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team. While Algieri represents the toughest test to date for the 26-year old Spence, the crossroads bout comes at a point when the former champ is in career flux.

The aforementioned win over Provodnikov was parlayed into a lucrative showdown with then-welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao. Algieri came up miles short in their Nov. ’14 clash, but has yet to truly reclaim title-worthy status since that showing overseas in Macau. He offered a competitive performance in a points loss to fellow former 140-pound titlist Amir Khan last May, followed by a closer-than-expected 10-round decision win over Erick Bone last December.

Both fights showed his fighting heart, but he remains a heavy underdog heading into April 16. Still, he enjoys the benefit of fighting at home (or at least an hour or so away, much closer than Spence’s trek from Desoto, Texas) in a venue that has provided great moments – and hopefully one more in the only sport he truly loves.

“I’ve had some of my best performances at Barclays. I believe April 16 will be another,” Algieri insists. “Training camp has been terrific. Our conditioning is optimal and I’m looking forward to a great night of boxing on April 16.”

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by KingTito on 03-25-2016

[QUOTE=Eff Pandas;16558779]MMA isn't for everyone. I do tend to think Algieri could do well at it with his kickboxing + boxing skills. Learn some sprawl + some ground skills & his good to go. That said as a notable boxing…

Comment by Eff Pandas on 03-25-2016

MMA isn't for everyone. I do tend to think Algieri could do well at it with his kickboxing + boxing skills. Learn some sprawl + some ground skills & his good to go. That said as a notable boxing person…

Comment by ChiCityExtractz on 03-25-2016

Boxing makes wayyyyy more money than MMA. MMA isn't worth it at this point, there's so many ways to lose in MMA. & while that's cool to the guy who takes pride in his MMA, it's not cool for boxers.…

Comment by BufordTannen on 03-25-2016

He prob makes more than most of the top 10 pfp mma fighters

Comment by trainhard_187 on 03-25-2016

[QUOTE=Nomadic;16557757]When did he become a boxer?[/QUOTE] He was hired by Bob Arum to fight Pacquiao when Arum had no one to line Manny up with that was under Arums Top Prank stable, Algieri was originally a 3rd grade substitute home…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Josh Taylor Confident He'll Beat Postol, Secure Jose Ramirez Shot News: Antonio Tarver, Steele Beats Upsher, Charlotte Results Weekend Review: Stevenson vs. Jack Excites, Warrington Too Carl Frampton Welcomes Josh Warrington Showdown Jack: Stevenson Would've Gone Down if I Had 5, 10 More Seconds Mayweather: Judges Must Score More Than 30 Seconds of Rounds Joe Joyce To Return on June 15 at York Hall Lee Selby Eyes Weight Move To 130 After Losing IBF World Title Josh Warrington In Pole Position To Land Frampton Showdown Joshua: I'll Rain Down Hell on Wilder, F*** Him Up Real Bad Nico Hernandez Continues To Win Big With First Round Stoppage Jose Benavidez Aims To Secure Terence Crawford Showdown Gary Russell: I Want To Unify Next or Move Up in Weight With Stevenson-Jack, Toronto Arrives As A True Fight City Photos: Pacquiao Grinds Hard With Buboy For Matthysse Fight McDonnell Hits Japan, Feels Confident of Shocking Naoya Inoue Omar Chavez: Other Fighters Have Lost - They Are Now Legends! Adonis Stevenson Admits: I Need To Be More Active Chavez Sr. Angry, Trainer Shakes Head at Omar Chavez Defeat Adonis Stevenson To Badou Jack: Rematch Must Be in Canada! Jack: I Wasn't Hitting Stevenson Low; He Had His Cup Really High Stevenson's Promoter Impressed With Badou Jack's Performance Joseph Diaz Has No Excuses: Gary Russell a Tremendous Fighter Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz - CompuBox Punch Stats Diego Magdaleno Grabs Win in Mexico, Hopes For Title Shot Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack - CompuBox Punch Stats Jack: Let's Do the Stevenson Rematch in Vegas, Sweden or the UK Tyson Fury Very Eager To Do a Job on Sefer Seferi on June 9 Photos: Eleider Alvarez Putting in Work For Sergey Kovalev Pacquiao is Pleased: Buboy Adapted The Style of Freddie Roach Photos: Gary Russell Shows His Class To Defeat Joseph Diaz Photos: Adonis Stevenson, Badou Jack - MONSTER Fight Gallery Warrington: Frampton in August is Too Soon, I Need More Time Jack Catterall: I Want The Winner of Flanagan vs. Hooker Ohara Davies Warms Up For Showdown With Josh Leather Video: Floyd Mayweather Reacts To The Stevenson-Jack Draw Adonis Stevenson: I Felt I Won, I Can Give Badou Jack a Rematch Video: Badou Jack Reacts To Draw Verdict With Adonis Stevenson Video: Adonis Stevenson Reacts To Draw Verdict With Jack Badou Jack: I Definitely Won, Maybe They Don't Like Mayweather

Latest Active Forum Threads