By Keith Idec, photo by Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos
Chris Algieri didn’t just provide nutritional expertise and healthy, tasty meals during Daniel Jacobs’ recently completed training camp.
Memories of Algieri’s upset of a rugged Russian who was supposed to knock him out also served as inspiration for Jacobs while he prepared to challenge Gennady Golovkin. Jacobs and Algieri also discussed Algieri’s split-decision win against Ruslan Provodnikov in June 2014 during the eight weeks they spent together in the Bay Area.
Algieri got off the canvas twice in the first round and fought through grotesque swelling surrounding his right eye for 11-plus rounds to win the WBO world super lightweight title from Provodnikov at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Jacobs’ hometown.
Jacobs watched that fight in amazement from a ringside seat as Algieri courageously changed the course of his career against Provodnikov.
“We talked about that fight,” Jacobs said during a conference call Tuesday. “And I told him how much of an inspiration it was for me to be there in Brooklyn, when he captured that title. It was just like a ‘Rocky’ story. The ‘Rocky’ movie was the perfect story for him. And to see him come back and to see him get off the canvas, and continue to fight, and have that big swollen eye and still give it his all, when most guys would quit.
“And then, at the end, we talked about that overview picture that he had, with his hands up in the air, that will always be memorable. And I think, for me, having a guy who has that experience, who has captured his own championship and captured his own memories, the memories that I’m trying to create, it can only add inspiration. He’s a very fun guy to be around. He’s the best nutritionist that I ever had, especially in camp. And I’m just grateful for the opportunity to work with him. He’s a stellar guy, and he’s 100-percent believing in my ability and making sure that I can be victorious Saturday night.”
Algieri, whose victory over Provodnikov helped him land a fight against Manny Pacquiao, hopes he gets to witness Jacobs pull off what would be an even more momentous upset Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“It can be somewhat of a similar situation,” Algieri said. “Danny’s an underdog in this fight and people may be saying what they’re saying about what’s gonna happen Saturday night. But during my camp leading up to the Provodnikov fight, we had no doubt about what was gonna happen. The positivity of the camp, the momentum of the camp was just up. Team Algieri was super strong and ready to perform.
“And I’m feeling that same way now being in Team Jacobs, that the whole team is united. Everyone has one singular focus, all of the same mindset. There’s no doubt in our camp. We don’t have any doubt about what’s gonna happen. We know Danny’s done the work. We know he’s been prepared and we know what he brings to the table, so the positivity of the camp has just been overwhelming.”
The 34-year-old Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) is an 8-1 favorite against the 30-year-old Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) in advance of their 12-round fight for Golovkin’s IBF/WBA/IBO/WBC middleweight championships. Golovkin-Jacobs will headline a four-fight HBO Pay-Per-View telecast from the Garden (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; $64.95 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.