Twitter, I like to say, was built to exemplify the phrase “contempt prior to investigation.”
People will fire off a half baked, fully furious critique of an issue or a person they know almost nothing about with the certainty possessed by someone with a Master's degree in the matter.
So it was when it came out that Long Island, NY's Chris Algieri, a 30 year-old boxer who exploded as an “overnight success” when he shrugged off two first round knockdowns at the hands of Ruslan Provodnikov to defeat the Siberian Rocky, had scored a fight with MannyPacquiao.
Should be on ESPN, not pay per view.
Lots of smack talk.
From cocky boxing media, one or two guys who fancy themselves bigger than the sport, and from the public.
Then, a funny thing happened.
Changing of perception.
“The reaction at first, there were a lot of naysayers,” said Algieri, who lives in a nice town called Huntington. “Since then, I can't believe it, how many people are interested in this fight. So many people saying I'm going to win. Media and fans. I was killed on Twitter before the Ruslan fight, but this time, it started bad, and then now, after three days, it's very, very positive.”
And how does the 20-0 (8 KOs) hitter explain the shift in perception?
“I think I opened a lot of eyes in the last fight, and people who really know the sport, and go behind the numbers and styles think I have a very real chance against Pacquiao.”
And, if you've followed Algieri here on TSS and on Boxing Channel, then you know he doesn't lack for confidence. The Twitter toughs call it cocky, wish for Manny to drop and stop the kid who exudes an inalterable belief in self. That surety is on display when I ask him if he thinks he will beat Pacman, the 35-year-old Congressman with a 56-5-2 record.
“One hundred percent I believe I will win,” he said.
And, are you more or less sure that you will beat Manny compared to how you felt going into the Ruslan fight?
“Maybe more,” he said, a couple minutes before heading to the gym for a workout.
And why's that?
“Ruslan was a very, very dangerous guy. You could do everything right and still lose. Manny is dangerous too…but Ruslan is young and powerful and hungry. That's not to say Manny is not, but…This is the theater of the unexpected. Manny has had 60 fights, will be almost 36 come fight time. There were not many unknowns going into the Ruslan fight. Ruslan, the guy's a killer.”
That “cocky” demeanor some cited after his post-fighter interview June 14, I got a better read on it from chatting with Algieri. He told me he doesn't use negative Twitter chat or critiques from big shot writers to fuel him. No, he said, positive OR negative material doesn't affect him. That's because he knows who he is, and what he can do, and his perception of self isn't moved by attaboys or yousucklosers.
“It's the theatre of the unexpected,” he said. “And how many people thought I'd get killed by Ruslan?”
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