Is Chris Algieri Destined for Success?
By Jason Gonzalez, MaxBoxing (July 24, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Ed Diller, Star Boxing)
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Chris Algieri
Welterweight Chris Algieri, who just turned 28 in March, has accomplished more in recent years than others have in an entire lifetime. On Saturday, July 28, Algieri, a native of Huntington, Long Island, and a former three-time kickboxing world champion, will headline the main event at the Paramount Theater in his hometown for the fourth consecutive time.
 
Algieri, 14-0 (7), will put his undefeated record on the line against Texas-born and bred Raul Tovar. Not exactly the crème de la crème but as an opponent, Tovar brings with him to the 631 (the area code of Suffolk County, the county in which Huntington is located) a résumé of 10-5-1, (4). It may not sound like much; however, Tovar's claim to fame is that he has yet to be stopped. But as the old axiom goes, there is always a first time for everything; correct? Maybe not. It could very well be a testament to Tovar's chin or the level of opposition that he has faced. It’s possible Tovar may have faced light punchers in all 16 bouts.
 
“I don't know; I am not sure how good [Tovar’s] chin is,” stated Algieri. “We will find out on Saturday. I will test his chin but I am not going to force anything. I am going to pick my shots and if the knockout is there, then I will go for it. It’s a great thing to be able to say that you were the first to ever stop an opponent, especially someone that's been in the ring with a lot of tough guys, as Tovar has had in the past. But I don't think a knockout is a must; a win is a must. Sometimes the knockout doesn't come because it’s not always there.”
 
According to Algieri, a descendent of Argentine and Italian heritage, he’s had the preparation of a lifetime as he heads into Saturday night. For the past seven weeks, he held training camp at the Roberto Garcia Boxing Gym in Oxnard, California. HBO fight analyst Max Kellerman described the gym as currently being the “busiest and most competitive boxing gym right now.” But before elaborating on how training went. Algieri, a Stony Brook alum, wanted to weigh in one last time on his opponent before the two square off in the ring.
 
“People are going to be real surprised at how technically sound [Tovar] really is,” adding, “Granted, he is not a world-beater but he isn't a banger either like you would think. I am confident that, stylistically, it will make for a good fight which will make for a good main event.”
 
In the words of hip-hop artist extraordinaire Snoop Dogg, back to the lecture at hand. So preparation, training camps, the Roberto Garcia Boxing Gym…where does Algieri fit in this equation exactly?
It’s simple; Algieri paired up with Brandon Rios, Nonito Donaire, Marcos Maidana, Kelly Pavlik and Fernando Guerrero. But how is it that a relatively green prospect can still fit in professionally amongst a stable so enriched with championship pedigree?
 
“The best sparring is in Oxnard; no doubt about it,” said Algieri, who has held camp twice so far on the West Coast within a span of six months. “I worked with Robert and I have sparred with [Brandon] Rios and [Marcos] Maidana. I was helping [Marcos] get ready for Keith Thurman before he got injured. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, there is always high-quality sparring happening amongst high-quality guys.”
 
If you didn't know any better, you would think a possible relocation to California was in store for Algieri. At the very least, he would set up shop and get a couple of scraps out there, albeit in Cali or Vegas.
 
“As far as moving there, not anytime soon,” Algieri replied. “I train all year ‘round. I usually go to different camps to work out. Both times that I have arrived at Oxnard, [Robert] says that I arrive in shape. [Robert] helps to fine tune my skill set, as well as assisting me in making the proper adjustments as needed. And as I've mentioned before, you get the best sparring there.”
 
Considering that Algieri has yet to fight outside of the New York City/Long Island area, he is optimistic that he will fight in the Pacific Time zone. Algieri feels that training in California has helped him create a big enough buzz to garner a bicoastal following.
 
“If it were up to me, I would have fought there already,” assessed Algieri, “but as you already know, it's not up to me to decide. My promoter [Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing] and trainers know what they are doing but I plan to fight out there real soon. Vegas, California, all of the important places out there that boxing is appreciated and respected. So far, we have done well building a fan base here in New York and on the West Coast. But when it’s time to move on, we will move forward.”
 
Algieri, who once resided in “Sin City'” for about six months, took advantage of the opportunity with the aid of social media.
 
“I would post pictures and videos of me training religiously on all of the social media networks,” Algieri would tell Maxboxing. “You know, the Facebooks and Twitters. People in the boxing circle that live on the West Coast know who I am.”
 
Algieri admits he isn't looking past Tovar but pending a victorious outcome on Saturday, Algieri wants and expects to be back in the squared circle by late September or early October.
 
“I want to fight two more [times] before the year is out,” said Algieri.
 
But as Algieri turns from prospect to contender, inquiring minds want to know, is there a slot for a television date in the fall? Algieri fits the profile of fighters we see in action on “ShoBox” or “Boxing After Dark.”
 
“I don't want to jinx it by saying anything,” Algieri humbly stated. “There are some things brewing in the pot but I feel that I have created a sufficient buzz to earn a television date sooner than later.”
 
With Algieri being promoted by Joe DeGuardia and knowing DeGuardia's relationship with Lou DiBella and Bob Arum of Top Rank, is it a possibility that we see Algieri join his fellow countryman Sergio Martinez and round out the undercard?
 
“Of course!” Algieri rejoiced. “I would gladly accept the offer. It would be perfect timing. It’s a great stage.”
 
Maybe getting on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez undercard undercard may be a bit of a stretch. In fact, it may even be on the cusp of hyperbole but based on everything Algieri has achieved personally and professionally, it wouldn't be surprising if he did get on the card.
 
Algieri appears destined for success but only time will tell, so it’s up to him to show and prove and it all starts this Saturday night.
 
Jay Gon's Tidbits…
 
-  Algieri's mother is from Argentina and his father is from Italy.
 
- Algieri is bilingual. He speaks Spanish well; that is how he communicated with Maidana since “Chino” doesn't speak English.
 
-  Algieri had 20 professional fights as a kickboxer and was a champion at 147 and 154 pounds.
 
-  Algieri is a second-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate.
 
-  Algieri has a Master's degree from New York Technical.
 
-  Algieri is currently employed as clinical nutritionist.
 
-  Algieri is also studying for the MCAT (the Medical College Admission Test) and will be applying to medical schools real soon.
 
-  Algieri is picking “Maravilla” Martinez to beat Chavez Jr. by decision, based on Martinez's ability to make technical adjustments.
 
-  Algieri is picking Andre Ward to defeat Chad Dawson by decision. Algieri acknowledges that Dawson has a lot going against him in that fight.
 
-  Algieri is a big fan of hip-hop music. His ring entrance theme song is “Don't Sweat the Technique” by Eric B. and Rakim.

You can follow Algieri on Twitter @chrisalgieri, friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chris.algieri1 and at Instagram @chris_algieri.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to “Jay Gon” at bklynqueenzmpire@aol.com.
 
And follow him at www.twitter.com/JayGon15.

* Special thanks to MaxBoxing.com

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