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
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
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
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
“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
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
“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
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
- Algieri has a Master's degree from New York
- Algieri is currently employed as clinical
- Algieri is also studying for the MCAT (the
Medical College Admission Test) and will be applying to medical schools real
- Algieri is picking “Maravilla” Martinez to
beat Chavez Jr. by decision, based on Martinez's ability to make technical
- 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.