By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Chris Algieri is well aware of why Adrien Broner is heavily favored to beat Emmanuel Taylor on Saturday night in Cincinnati.
Algieri knows as well as anyone, though, that Taylor has the ability to pull off what would amount to a huge upset in their 12-round, 140-pound main event at U.S. Bank Arena (Showtime; 9:30 p.m. ET). The unbeaten WBO junior welterweight champion out-boxed Taylor thoroughly in their ESPN2 main event Feb. 14 in Huntington, N.Y., yet walked away from their 10-rounder very impressed with Taylor’s skills.
If Taylor (18-2, 12 KOs) approaches Broner in a different fashion, Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) is confident that the mostly unknown fighter from Edgewood Arsenal, Md., can become the second fighter to beat Broner (28-1, 22 KOs), a 12-1 favorite.
“He needs to use his jab,” Algieri said before a press conference Thursday at a Manhattan hotel to promote his Nov. 22 HBO Pay-Per-View fight against Manny Pacquiao. “He’s got a great jab. He just needs to use it. If he just tries to walk in on Broner, he’s going to get picked apart. But if he goes in behind his jab and counters, he’ll do well. Every punch he throws is good. He’s got a good right hand, a good left hook, he throws uppercuts well, he jabs well. But he doesn’t use all his tools. He falls in love with trying to knock people out and he just walks in looking for those shots. That’s when he gets hit with punches he doesn’t need to get hit with. If he does that with Broner, he’s going to get picked apart.”
Algieri is sure, however, that Broner’s abundance of confidence will work in Taylor’s favor.
“I think Broner underestimates everybody,” Algieri said. “Whether it’s Manny or anybody, I think he underestimates everybody.”
That said, Algieri also recognizes some of the physical advantages Broner has over Taylor, who, like Algieri, is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
“That’s a tough fight,” Algieri said. “Broner is a super-talented guy. But Manny has the skills. He has elite-level skills. The thing is, is he going to go out there and use them? If he does, I think it’s a very real fight and he could pull off a win.”
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.