I cracked up when I was questioning Chris Algieri, who scored the opportunity of his fighting lifetime when he signed to fight Manny Pacquiao in Macau on Nov. 22, after I asked him if he had started watching tape of Pacman, to help his prep.
“I've been watching the HBO 24/7, the last fight between Manny and Tim Bradley. It's going to be my first 24/7.”
I busted out laughing, and Algieri cracked up too, intuiting that his answer was quite the signal of the age. He gets it, that he's an athlete, yes, but also a sports entertainer, and, yes, a BRAND. So, he wanted to see how others are repping their brands on that premium network. Makes sense to me, as I think he has a pretty good idea of how he'll want to fight Pacman, and as the fight moves closer, he will be drilling with coach Tim Lane, who does pretty well at pretending to be a lefty with fast hands and swift feet. And, what were the takeaways, if any, from watching the 24/7?
“I think I will do what I do, and I'll be fine. I mean, I'm a character, and that should show pretty well on camera pretty well,” said the 30-year-old man, single, with no children.
The fighter has been staying in shape, he said, basically getting back to doing cardio right away after his June 14 fight in Brooklyn against Ruslan Provodnikov, in which he snagged Ruslan's 140 pound crown. He said that he loves preparing for fights, getting a gameplan into shape, and he's been boxing for about a week now. He will make sure not to overtrain, and knows coach Lane and co-trainer Keith Trimble have a good sense of when he's overexerting. Algieri said that he will keep the same team of coaches, but yes, might hire someone to help with scheduling.
Team Algieri will be training in NY, and then likely move to Vegas to work for three or more weeks. Then, they will travel to Macau, for two weeks, to acclimate to the region and rhythm. He is aware, he said, that there will be a different level of mental grind, with all the traveling, all the media work, and that the camp will be a considerable expense, with all the air travel and such. “I won't change my team at all. I'm going to ride these guys until the wheels fall off. And they me,” he said, chuckling.
His last messages for the rooters and the non-believers? “Just tune in to 24/7…and by the time the fight goes off, I will have a lot more believers. And after Manny, is Floyd next? Of course!”
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