By Keith Idec
Errol Spence Jr. doesn’t consider Chris Algieri to be the huge step up in class Algieri considers himself.
Spence acknowledged that Algieri, a former WBO junior welterweight champion, is more accomplished than anyone he has faced in his first 19 professional fights.
But Spence (19-0, 16 KOs), who’ll square off against Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) on April 16 at Barclays Center (NBC), doesn’t place the 32-year-old Algieri in the same category as several of the top welterweights Spence hopes to fight.
“I don’t think he’s an enormous step up in class because every time he stepped up he lost – to Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao,” Spence told BoxingScene.com. “And the only notable win on his record is [Ruslan] Provodnikov. He’s not a huge step up. I don’t see him like Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, in that class. But he is a step up.”
Winning would show, according to Spence, that the highly touted DeSoto, Texas, native is ready for bigger fights later this year.
“It shows that I belong in the elite class with the rest of the top welterweights,” Spence, 26, said. “He’s not a gatekeeper at all. It’s just a measuring stick to see how good I really am. Every young fighter in their career has to go through a step like this, get through a veteran who’s battle-tested and has a lot of experience.”
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.