Virtually everyone in the world knows who Manny Pacquiao is but little is known of his opponent, Chris Algieri in the blockbuster ho-hum fight to be held on November 22, 2014 at the Venetian Casino and Resort in Macau.
Algieri is Undefeated in Two Sports—Boxing and Kickboxing
The 30-year-old American is not only undefeated in twenty professional boxing bouts but he is also undefeated in twenty professional kickboxing fights. He has a better knockout rate as a kickboxer (10 of 20 fights ended via KO or 50% KO rate) than a boxer (8 of 20 fights ended via KO or 40% KO rate).
Algieri is a three-time world champion—one world title in boxing (World Boxing Organization Junior Welterweight Champion); and two world titles in kickboxing (International Sport Karate Association Welterweight Champion and World Kickboxing Association Super Welterweight Champion).
Against the Pacman (56-5-2, 38 KO), he will be gunning for his second boxing world title—the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt.
Here’s one of Algieri’s kickboxing KO victories—against Scott Mukaddam:
(Video Courtesy: YouTube/Mark Lawrence)
Algieri is Well-Educated and a Charity Worker
The American fighter from Huntington, Long Island, USA started his career path in medicinal studies at Stony Brook University where he has a Bachelor of Science in health care sciences; then, after retiring from kickboxing in 2008, he turned pro in boxing and at the same time pursued a Masters Degree in Nutrition at the New York Institute of Technology and finished in 2010.
Algieri does charitable work. From his official website, “Understanding the risks of combat sports and wanting to do his part to help, Team Algieri joined forces with the Irene & Eric Simon (IES) Brain Research Foundation in order to raise awareness and funds to help advance neuroscience research and education.”
Algieri’s Path to Fame in Boxing Pacquiao was Defeating Ruslan Provodnikov
Algieri, who has Italian (father) and Argentine (mother) blood, pulled off the upset against Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia to steal the WBO Light Welterweight title on June 6, 2014 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, USA.
Algieri actually went down twice in the opening round but came back to win the match via a split decision, 114-112 (Don Trella), 114-112 (Tom Schreck) and 109-117 (Max DeLuca).
Watch the Algieri vs. Provodnikov highlights here:
(Video Courtesy: YouTube/HBOSports)
These fans’ reaction on Twitter summarizes what every boxing fan feels about the fight:
I'm so excited for Pacquiao vs. Algieri!!! - Said no one.
— Cesca Litton (@CheckLit) July 16, 2014
Algieri is a relatively new guy in boxing who is undefeated but have done it against unknown and unheralded opponents; while it looks like he’s generally a very educated, good guy his greatest win in boxing was unconvincing and even, controversial.
In short, Algieri looks like another cherry-picked opponent for Pacquiao by Top Rank’s Bob Arum.