He has it all! He is a thoroughbred, he is a classy boxer, he’s educated, highly intelligent, well spoken, polite, and professional, with movie star looks.
He and his next opponent, Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) are likeable, humble, and respectful of each other. They will clash on November 22nd in Macao, China, on a Top Rank/Star Boxing promoted show, televised live on HBO PPV, in a fight between two WBO World Champions: Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) is the junior welterweight title holder and he is challenging the Pacman for his welterweight championship.
Their two-week 27,000-plus mile international media tour to hype the “Champion vs. Champion” event ended last week in New York City.
Algieri has enjoyed every minute of the ride leading up to his big fight. “I got mobbed in Shanghai,” he described. “They had security to move us through. Similar things happened in Vegas. It’s exciting!”
Now it is time for the training camp and he knows what he has to do: “He (Pacquiao) knows how to fight,” said Algieri. “It’s going to be my job to break his focus and break his will, like I did with Ruslan (Provodnikov).”
The 5ft 10 Algieri appreciates that he has a significant height advantage over the 5ft 6 1/2 Pacquiao, but he realizes that Pacman has fought a lot of taller opponents, however he points out that none of them were like him. “I’m a different guy than the other tall guys that he’s fought. It’s an interesting style matchup.”
When the fighters stand close to each other – as they did several times during the media tour – the height differential comes into focus. Algieri, the one moving up in weight, towers over the Filipino star, and that is not missed by the challenger.
“I always use my reach and my jab. I was actually surprised at how much taller I am than Manny. I was told he was small, shorter than I am, but he’s a lot shorter than I expected. That plays a big factor in the speed. Speed is how much distance you travel. He’s got more distance to travel; it’s going to affect his speed.”
Algieri is very familiar with the boxing skills of his illustrious foe: “Manny is a master at changing range and positions and changing angles. He’s a combination puncher and he punches at every angle you can think of, but I’m a pretty good angle fighter as well. I’m not a straight in guy, so it’s going to be interesting to see how our styles mesh and clash. It’s going to be a very, very fast chess match out there.”
Algieri believes he will win because of, “My mental preparedness, my mental mind state going into the fight. By the end of training camp I’m going to be even more confident than I am now and as you know I’m already a confident person. I bring to the table many things that Manny hasn’t seen: Ever! He’s got a big athletic guy (in front of him) with a big desire to win. I’ve never lost. This is a huge opportunity and it’s perfect timing.”
Maybe the most important and impressive thing about Algieri that this reporter took away from this interview was his response when asked, “What is your biggest weapon?”
Without hesitation, Algieri replied: “My boxing IQ and my mind!” That, and a snappy jab can win the fight!
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