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 James Tennyson Aims To Dominate, Pressure Tevin Farmer Hearn Warns Team Wilder: Hurry Up, You Haven't Got Long Golovkin Opponents Split on Canelo Rematch Outcome Ngabu vs. Merhy in Play For EBU Strap After Jur KO Loss Joshua vs. Povetkin: The Joys of Disappointment Abel Sanchez Not Surprised Canelo Withstood Golovkin's Power Mikey Garcia: My Main Target, Focus and No. 1 Goal is Spence! Adonis Stevenson vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk Card Coming Together Pacquiao Says No Tune-Up Needed, Mayweather May Have One Miguel Roman: Miguel Berchelt Will Not Withstand My Pace Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez Doubleheader on 11/10 Sergio Martinez Discusses Unbeaten Prospect Jon Fernandez Photos: Luke Campbell, Yvan Mendy, Okolie, Askin - Workouts Photos: David Price, Sergey Kuzmin - Open Workouts Photos: Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin - Putting in Work Fury on Wilder: Klitschko Hit Really Hard Too, It Didn't Affect Me! Arum Amused: I'd Be Conflicted If De La Hoya Ran Against Trump Froch: Joshua Needs to Entertain, Show Fighting Spirit Again Joshua-Povetkin: A Look at Heavyweight Olympic Champions UK News: McCullagh-Kennedy, Edwards-Farrag, Gallagher-Byrne Savannah Marshall Added To Fury vs. Pulev Card Amir Khan: Did You See The Size of Canelo When He Fought Me?! Gallagher Expects Smith To Peak, Shine Against George Groves Chocolatito's Options To Be Evaluated, Yafai Not Ruled Out Lemieux: Golovkin is Not The Same, Rematch Would Be Different Arum: Lomachenko Wants Mikey Garcia Fight Right After Pedraza Frank Warren: I Had Golovkin Beating Canelo By Three Rounds Anthony Joshua Won't Chase a KO: I've Got To Be Clever Now Kevin Johnson Feels Experience Edge May Down Daniel Dubois Hearn: I'm Quite Worried, Povetkin is Tough Fight For Joshua David Benavidez Makes No Excuses, Apologizes For Failed Test Golovkin's Coach: Canelo Vindicated Himself For Positive Tests Energy Execs Glove Up To Knock Out Child Sexual Abuse Frank Warren: Frampton-Warrington is Not Two Recycled Guys DAZN, The New Kid On The Block, Ready For Boxing Kickoff Canelo's Possible Return: December 15 Reserved at MSG, MGM Nacho: Canelo Did Great, But I Think Golovkin Won WBC Prez: Canelo Deserved The Win in Golovkin Rematch David Benavidez Comes Up Positive For Cocaine in VADA Test Wilder vs. Fury Promotional Tour is Ready, Reveals Frank Warren

Latest Active Forum Threads