Will Algieri Throw a Gem…or Get Shelled?

Matchmaker Ron Katz told me before his kid Chris Algieri was to fight Ruslan Provodnikov that the Long Islander had a real good chance. Now, you might expect him to say that, being that this in-the-game for four decades fightmaker is employed by Algieri promoter Joe DeGuardia. But…we have to note how that played out this past June, how Katz was spot on in his assessment, of Algieri’s skills and heart.

That in mind, I reached out to the NY fight game perennial to get his take on the Saturday clash between the hearttrob and the Congressman, which will unfold in Macau, and on HBO PPV.

First off, Katz didn’t make the trek to Macau, as he has a heart flutter and episodes of irregular beats mean the trip would be a bit of a roll of the dice. He will be here in the States, fingers crossed tighter than will be healthy for his digits.

So, Mr. Katz, what about it…will Algieri pull off another most significant upset, this time against a boxer a step and maybe two up from Provodnikov?

“My heart says yes, my head hasn’t caught up with my heart yet,” he said, chuckling.

I asked if he had a historical comparison, in styles of the fighters, or points in their career, that came to mind, and he ruminated on it. “Not style wise, but this is almost like Mancini-Arguello, though I’m hoping for a different outcome,” he told me. “I’m hoping Algieri is like Arguello!” (Arguello battled Boom Boom in October of 1981, and the Nicaraguan idol scored a TKO14 victory.)

Katz said he won’t know by the second or third round how things are going to play out, based on Manny’s hand speed, or Chris’ ability to land the jab, or anything along those lines. “Based on last fight, no. Because who’d have thought Chris would have recovered and fought the way he did after two rounds. If Chris can get Manny off rhythm he has been fighting with lately, it could be very interesting. Manny is very adept at using his feints to put you out of position and in a defensive posture that he can capitalize on. If Chris can react as Juan Manuel Marquez did in the last Pacquiao fight, and become offensive rather than defensive, that is one way to upset his rhythm. He also needs to get Manny to open up. Manny has been far more technical lately and if Chris can get him to become undisciplined it will serve him well. Not easy to do, but doable,” Katz said. “All in all, I think Chris is one of those kids who comes along out of nowhere every once in awhile. He proved what he is made of and what his abilities are. Yes, he’s fighting one of the top fighters in the world, but at the end of the day, I think destiny is on his side, and he will shock the world by defeating Manny Pacquiao! Yes, my head has now caught up with my heart!”

Seems to me both his eyes are wide open, and he’s seeing the fight with the breadth of his experience, even though his heart is speaking loudly, even though he allows himself to ponder the romantic nature of another upset win, not to mention what it would mean to his company if Algieri downed the Congressman. “It’s like a kid coming up from the minor leagues and facing the world champs in Major League Baseball,” he continued. “Either he takes them by surprise and throws a gem or he is completetely overmatched and gets shelled. But destiny is on his side!”

Love it. Eyes wide open, purely candid, with a hint of romantic yearning. Readers, your thoughts on Katz’ take?

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-deepwater2 :

A round of applause for some good old fashioned honesty. The man is telling the truth. Chris is against some serious firepower. He will need to be perfect and find some power to keep Pac from getting past the jabs.I just don't see it.

-Froggy :

WOW ! Coming from the match maker who works for C-Al's promoter that is saying something !

-Skibbz :

Ron gave me a good laugh a few days ago when I asked who he thought would win and he replied that it would be Algieri. I asked him then whether it would be an upset, to which he replied with laughter "Algieri winning is no upset!". Made us both crack up. He's still going with his heart, but that's no issue, we all have our favourites and we root for them for whatever reason... But the winner on the night won't be C Al!

-SouthPaul :

By the second or third Algigeri will have been dropped at least twice. Im totally positive of it. Totally overwhelmed by Pac's movement, speed, and power. Just can't see it going any other way early on. But this kid is tough and can box well so it'll be very fun to see if he can crawl his way out of the boxing hole he will certainly find himself in. Very likable guy so I wish him all the best!

-brownsugar :

I admit to having a laugh or two at the expense of the well heeled and meticulously groomed Chris Algieri. NewYork's Carnegie Hall version of the Cinderella Man presents a very warm and fuzzy storyline with a dash of John L Sullivan Sophistication. But now is the time to cast the sneering glances and chuckling laughter aside. Algieri may seem like the hapless nurse maid who haphazardly stumbled onto the big time stage of the hurt bizness. But Algieri is NO Joke!. He dazzled Taylor in a one sided clinic while Broner had to go life or death with the same guy to barely eake out a win. He outmaneuvered Provodnikov who had just obliterated Alvarado with a Rocky Mountain High performance which nearly got him inducted into the GGG Kovalev 3 Beasts of the East Club. Algieri had Provo looking for his chin all night while faking him out of his jock...and lowering his pit bull stock. So don't say he doesn't belong. Don't pretend his presence on the big stage is a gift from mount Olympus. Zeus is not the excuse. Simply put ....Algieri is very personification of mind over matter...his gift is his raw tenacity, discipline and knowledge of self. Algieri is dangerous because he knows what he is capable of. Paq will have to become the merciless assassin he was when he punished Morales and Barrera. He must break Algieri down before his confidences can't bloom into an upset. He must play the role of the oppressor and snatch all hope away from his young challenger before it can you turned into the ultimate weapon and take the fight to Algieri with extreme prejudice. Manny can win only if he leaves nice-guy Paq at home.

-SouthPaul :

Outstanding read, Brown Sugar. I thought I saw the not so nice guy in those 24-7 clips but of course that was against padded work.

-brownsugar :

Outstanding read, Brown Sugar. I thought I saw the not so nice guy in those 24-7 clips but of course that was against padded work.
Thanks SP ...I can't wait to hear another one of your fight travelogues from the SouthWest..... Hopefully it will be soon.

-Skibbz :

Great post bsuge, almost found myself cheering for chris!

-SouthPaul :

Brown Sugar I attended the Hopkins, Kovalev bout. Flew into Philly..stayed there several days then drove into AC. First time in both places for me but the easiest way to explain my weekend ... Just imagine meeting up with all the great members of TsS then spending the entire time doing what we do here ...add good food and drink ... Live fight. I use this as my example because each and every person I met up with is someone I met thru this sport we love. Guys from all different parts of the country flew in for a gathering. Sensational time!