Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why Chris Algieri Can't Be Written Off

The road to success ain't always an easy one. 

I remember close to a year ago, when New York's Chris Algieri was about to step into the ring with the wildly hyped Siberian, Ruslan Provodnikov. Those who know my writing know that I'm fascinated by the underdog, by the guy emerging from the shadows without pomp and circumstance. Algieri was just such a man. Sure, he had appeared on Friday Night Fights, but he was far removed from boxing's spotlight.

I was impressed with Algieri, however, and let readers know about it. Here was a kid with heart and talent to back it up. He was more than just some guy plucked from obscurity. He was a guy with real skill. And guess what? Algieri showed that skill against Provodnikov. Whether you thought the undefeated challenger from Long Island really won or not that night, it was hard not to give the man the nod of approval.

Yet, almost as suddenly as Algieri found adulation heaped upon him, that adulation disappeared. For the suburban product of graduate school went from being the toast of boxing to being the butt of Twitter jokes almost overnight. That sort of thing can happen when you're thrust into a match with an all time great like Manny Pacquaio, and that's certainly what happened with Algieri.

I'm not so sure we've seen the end of the tale, however. Everyone knows Algieri will be back, but I still feel he can be a force, as well. Losing to Pacquiao is no shame and shouldn't be a blemish on anyone's record. What's more, Algieri has the inner drive to make it as a fighter. Ask yourself what other opponent would have kept getting up from Pacquiao's blows that night in China.

None of this is to say Algieri will end up back on top of the sport of boxing, mind you. It's just to say that's it pretty premature to say he won't. Word is the guy's looking for new trainers. John David Jackson has been mentioned. That would be an impressive choice. Scratch that. It would be a real impressive choice.

No matter what Algieri decides to do, he'll remain a fighter to keep an eye on, though. It's been proven the man can hang with the best of them. Now it's time to see where he goes from here.

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