Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chris Algieri - A Tuneup For Khan, Or A Real Threat?

The Big Apple presents another interesting matchup

So on Friday evening there's going to be a televised fight which I apparently find a lot more interesting than some. Amir Khan, arguably the sole remaining threat to Floyd Mayweather's unblemished legacy, is going to be taking on Chris Algieri, a slick New York boxer who stunned a lot of people by beating Ruslan Provodnikov...before being thoroughly outclassed himself by Manny Pacquiao.

Most people see Algieri not standing much of a chance against Khan, and with good reason. For Khan is faster, more experienced and hits harder than his American foe. On the other hand, Algieri is one of he most high-energy fighters out there. That's important to remember. He's also very hard to knock out. Like the Terminator, he just keeps getting up after he's dropped to the canvas.

What's more, Algieri has very good footwork and possesses an impressive skill set. He's a real craftsman who now has the masterful John David Jackson in his corner. Indeed, the presence of Jackson could be a game changer. He led Kovalev to victory over Hopkins and knows how to map out a game plan better than anyone. Don't expect any talk of cages in between rounds on Friday.

Still, Khan's talent is so vast, his ring mastery so impressive, that it's very hard to say Algieri is going to pull off the upset victory (unless of course, the judges at the Barclay's in Brooklyn decide to do some home cooking). If he wants to stand a chance, however, Algieri is going to want to let his feet do the talking.

While there's just no way Khan will stalk Algieri around the ring the way Provodnikov did, Algieri can attempt to make things difficult for the Englishman by employing a defensive strategy that's gauged to frustrate his foe. Khan's best weapon may well be his jab. It sets up all his assaults. If there's nowhere for the jab to land, however...

It's understandable to consider this pie in the sky thinking. Again, Khan's skill level, on paper, at least, is superior to Algieri's. They say styles make fights and it's hard to imagine Khan's speed being nullified by Algieri, no matter how fancy the Long Islander's footwork in the ring may be. Still, this is boxing, a sport where it seems anything can happen.

At that's why Algieri is more than just a tuneup for Khan on Friday night.

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