He is not born in a poor neighbourhood. He has not the absolute necessity to shine in Boxing in order to climb the social scale. He was raised in Long Island, in a middle class family. With him, forget the caricature.
Chris Algieri doesn’t need Boxing to eat. It feeds him. He is fuelled by it. It’s his gas, the gasoline and the essence of his life. Boxing is his ultimate passion since he is a child.
His argentinean grandfather used to practice the Noble art. His Italian father had a hard time to choose between soccer and boxing but the little Chris didn’t. For him, there was no doubt. He was definitely fascinated by Boxing.
Ha was fed in the great days of Julio Cesar Chavez, Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Holyfield…, he nevertheless started combat sports by Chinese Kempo.
He was then 10 years old. At 15, he becomes black belt. In high school, he practices wrestling, with a lot of success. At 16, he discovers Kick-boxing. At 19 years old, unbeaten in amateurs, he decides to become professional.
Unbeaten in 11 years and 40 fights
We are in 2003. Along side his university studies, punctuated by a Master degree from the New York Institute of Technology (medical care), Chris Algieri spares no expense on rings. With great success ! He successively becomes ISKA and WKA world champion (Super welterweight and welterweight divisions). In 2008, when he retires from Kick-boxing, he is unbeaten in 20 fights !
At 24 years old, he wants to indulge his passion : Boxing. He wants to enjoy himself and he gives a little pleasure to his opponents. From April 2008 to June 2014, he fought 20 times for… 20 victories (8 KO) !
His 20th success, the 40th of his two professional careers, allows him to touch the Holy Grail. By beating Russian Provodnikov, Chris Algieri becomes world champion (WBO). And what a fight ! He was considered as a big underdog by bookmakers. He was counted twice in the 1st round. He had then to fight with a closed eye during all the match. While everything seems downright hopeless, he fights with his heart and his mind, with glance and jab, with passion and abnegation.
That’s his big break. He doesn’t miss it. His dream comes true. After the 12 rounds, Chris Algieri is the winner by split decision. He is the light welterweight world champion !
In Macao, Pacquiao sets the tempo
In 2014, he seizes a new great opportunity : fighting against Manny Pacquiao himself ! He is admittedly unbeaten but the Filipino, it’s the upper category, the one of the ring Untouchables. The one of the welterweight division too. From now on, Chris Algieri will fight in this weight division.
For his 1st fight at 147 pounds, his 1st one also out of New York, the American had to deal with his greatest challenge. The welterweight world belt is at stake.
But, in Macao, Pacquiao sets the tempo. Chris Algieri is knocked-down 6 times. But he never gives up. He takes the punches and he holds up. His fighting spirit and his will make him stand up until the end. He is defeated up (unanimous decision).
At 30 years old, he knows for the 1st time the torments of the defeat. But there are some which taste a little sweety. He lost but he stood up, contrary to 38 boxers who fought against Mister Manny Pacquiao.
Two high ranking defeats
Another top fight is soon outlined. The British Amir Khan, double lightweight world champion (WBA and IBF), is scheduled for May 2015. The WBC welterweight silver belt is to be taken. But Chris Algieri doesn’t succeed in taming the “Emperor” (Khan in Arabic), who keeps his throne by unanimous decision.
After these two high ranking defeats, the American moves on and ends the year 2015 by a success over Erick Bone (unanimous decision). And then, in May of this year, he is opposed to the new rising star Errol Spence, unbeaten by then (19 victories, 17 KO’s). The golden boy honors his reputation. For the 1st time in his long career, Chris Algieri is knocked out (5th round).
As the year 2016 is ending, the American tales some free time. He is preparing his coming back, serenely, quietly. He will be ready. The appointment is made for 2017. To be followed…
Born on March, 2nd 1984 in Huntington (USA)
Height : 5 ft 10 in
Weight : Super welterweight (140 lbs), welterweight (147 lbs)
Kick-boxing. 20 fights, 20 victories. 2 times world champion (ISKA and WKA)
Boxing. 24 fights, 21 victories (8 KO), 3 defeats. World champion in 2014 (WBO)