Chris Algieri, the Huntington Heartthrob, or the “Real Rocky,” as promoters are trying to tag him, is in Macau, counting down the days to his clash with Manny Pacquiao, and I told him I wished I could be there, soak up the atmosphere.
Next time, I said.
Know what he said?
“Rematch in New York!” Yep, the Long Islander (seen here in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo arriving at the Macau Venetian) is thinking he’s got this Saturday, and the Congressman and promoter Top Rank will exercise the rematch clause which activates if an upset occurs.
Wait, is NY as site of rematch in the contract, I wondered?
No, he said, but his fingers are mightily crossed. Crossed, but he said his squad is loose, and having lots of laughs. No, he’s not tightening up as we get closer to big stage time. Oh, and the almond cookies he made yesterday were a big hit, he reports.
As for the possibility of a rematch in NYC, Barclays Center boss Brett Yormark told TSS he's most keen on landing that scrap, should it come to fruition, at his building in Brooklyn. “It would make sense. I'm all over it,” he declared.
Sergio Mora, the Latin Snake, told TSS that he sees Algieri coming out a winner on Saturday night, no matter the outcome. “My prediction is: win or lose, Algieri will come out victorious Saturday,” he told me. “He may not win the fight, but he’ll find a way to impress us. I’m pulling for Algieri, but I don’t think they will give him any kind of decision. I say Pacquiao by unanimous decision.”
My Brooklyn neighbor Yuri Foreman, the ex 154 pound champ who has stepped away from the ring, and will be ordained soon as a rabbi, weighed in with take on the Nov. 22 clash. “As you know, in boxing, anyone who is a world class fighter has a chance. I think Algieri, after becoming a world champion (with a win last June over Ruslan Provodnikov), is already a very different fighter. He is much stronger psychologically I think.”
Our man Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., on the sidelines playing out some contractual matters, doesn’t think the New Yorker will get the W in Macau. “Manny I think wins, by decision. He has too much experience,” Junior told me. And how could Algieri win? He'd need to box the fight of his life, right? “Yes, box, move a lot. Use the distance, he is bigger,” Chavez Jr. said.
Cuban vet Yuriorkis Gamboa, fresh off a win last Saturday, weighed in with his take on the Manny-Algieri clash. Does he think underdog Algieri could do it?
“Anyone has a chance in a ring Michael,” he told me. “Anything can happen but if I have to bet I would put my money on Pacman.” However, Gamboa allowed himself some hedge room. “But Algieri seems like a go get it kind of guy,” he stated.
Another Cuban slickster, Erislandy Lara, readying himself for a 154 pound title defense againsy Ishe Smith Dec. 12, is nodding to Pacman in this square-off.
“Algieri is a good, smart boxer,” he said. “Manny has experience and speed. I think Manny wins in a good fight, because of experience.”
Talk to me, gang. Any of these preds surprise you?