Tonight at the Barclays Center, New York, Khan vs Algieri be the headlining act for Boston fight fans. With chief support from Fortuna vs Vasquez, this Premier Boxing Champions card will contain at least one competitive fight on paper.
Of course, nobody is really giving Chris Algieri, 31, a chance at beating the more experienced Amir Khan. And given their pro records, amateur experience, wins and defeats – and the blatantly obvious – public opinion is probably right.
But let’s give the New Yorker a fair shake here and look into how the fight might pan out. We’ll start with the underdog.
Chris Algieri: Strengths and Weaknesses
Let’s get one thing straight: this guy is better than you think. So why so many detractors?
Probably because of his nightmares with Ruslan Provodnikov and Manny Pacquiao. After watching these fights, people quickly made their minds up about this cat. It’s easy to forget how he rallied back against Provodnikov, utilizing some classy footwork and counters, to reach the finish line. And win to boot.
Then there was the Pacquiao bout. Six (official) knockdowns, and shutout scores from all judges. All for the Filipino legend. This was mightily damaging for Algieri, and not long after, keyboard trolls quickly took to Twitter to shame the defeated fighter.
But by going the distance with Pacquiao, Algieri (20-1, 8 KO) proved he can fight. Not that he wasn’t outclassed – but that he can fight. These two fights prove not only that Algieri can survive great punishment, but that he’s one ambitious, tough son of a b****.
Algieri is a man who refuses to grow slowly in his boxing career. Tune up bout, Algieri? Nah. He’d rather bring in a new trainer (enter John David Jackson), train his ass off, and get it on with another top fighter. Signing up for Khan vs Algieri is a ballsy move, indeed.
Algieri has heart and decent tools, it has to be said. And it’s clear Algieri truly believes in victory. His strengths are decent footwork, and sharp counter-punching. Most of, an iron-will.
But to beat Khan (30-3, 19 KO), he’d have to come forward more. A lot. We all saw what happened to Devon Alexander when he tried to box off the back foot against Khan last December. Shutout scorecards. And not for Alexander.
New trainer Jackson has revealed he and Algieri have been working on power, along with unlocking greater aggression. So perhaps there are a few question marks hanging over what Algieri might bring to this fight?
It has to be said Algieri’s biggest weakness is his lack of experience, and, refusal to build upon that experience by having a couple of tune-up fights. Let it be known Khan is looking to bust this guy up – especially with Floyd Mayweather dangling the proverbial carrot in front of him.
Algieri is good. Better than you think. But he will have to be great to beat Khan.
Chris Algieri Keys to Victory
- Push Khan onto the back foot and don’t be afraid to come forward
- Forget counters and too many jabs – Khan’s chin needs checking, and the sooner the better
- Load up with powerful combinations and bully this guy (Lamont Peterson vs Khan comes to mind as a good blue print)
- Ultimately, aggression is key here – out-boxing a speedster like Khan is next to impossible
Amir Khan: Strengths and Weaknesses
Khan, 28, needs little introduction to anyone familiar with the Olympic Silver Medalist.
Lightning-quick, and more methodical and disciplined than ever under Virgil Hunter’s tutelage, he is quite the finished product. Khan claims to be the fastest fighter in the world, and is probably not far from it. At Welterweight? Sure.
If we’re talking skills, Algieri’s pale somewhat next to Khan’s. It’s that Amateur pedigree. That experience with top dogs like Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana and Lamont Peterson. Khan’s superior strengths – which have been televised since his pro debut – are quite simply undeniable.
The Brit does possess a considerable weakness, however. That being his questionable chin. There’s an ongoing debate about this, so let’s just state an obvious fact: Algieri has greater recovery powers than Khan. Much greater.
Khan would have approached fights with Provodnikov and Pacquiao differently. But make no mistake – he couldn’t have endured numerous knockdowns (from both men) and went on to see the final bell like Algieri did.
That’s exactly what makes Khan’s fights so exciting, though. The man’s got blinding speed, but can find himself in serious trouble rather quickly.
Amir Khan Keys to Victory
- Don’t change too much (even though Mayweather may be tuning in) – Luis Collazo/Devon Alexander game plans are more than enough to get the job done here
- Take advantage of Algieri’s limited experience and don’t let him get too comfortable
- Don’t go looking for the knockout (again, forget Mayweather) – this fight can easily be won by out-boxing Algieri
- Refrain from going to war – of course – even if tagged by a big shot
- Reset Algieri (should he unload) with distance manipulation and ‘tactical clinching’
Khan via wide/shutout decision (we’d like to say / late round stoppage too, but we can’t cover all bases now, can we?)
In a bout that sees Algieri bite off too much to chew – again – Khan proves too much for the brave, ambitious New Yorker. Algieri tries to come forward in the early to mid rounds, but becomes more and more deterred after suffering the consequences of Khan’s sharp, zipping punches.
Algieri endures considerable punishment in the fight, which includes perhaps one or two knockdowns. But his solid jaw, fundamentals and determination take him to the final bell. Khan takes away a wide/shutout points victory, and edges closer to his dream fight with Floyd Mayweather.
You can catch Khan vs Algieri on Spike tonight at 9pm ET/6pm PT. Boxnation subscribers can also catch the action in the UK.
You’ve heard our prediction – now it’s time to let us know how you think the action will play out. Who are you picking in Khan vs Algieri? Get discussing, readers!
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