You noted the degree of sureness he had in himself before the Pacquiao scrap. What, you thought Chris Algieri was rendered into a shuffling shell of himself because one of the five best boxers on the planet heat him in Macau on Nov. 22?
Nah, the Long Islander, while humbled with the knowledge that he came up short, and has holes to fill in his game, is not in any kind of a crisis or woe is me mode.
I chatted with the Huntington Heartthrob on Wednesday, shortly before he was headed to the gym, to get some work in boxing with coach Keith Trimble.
Yep, no med school plans on the fast track, Algieri told me he’s gunning to make 2015 a kick-ass year, and that he’s motivated as hell to show people that he’s a better brand, a much better brand, of boxer than he showed on Nov. 22.
There will be a Florida vacation next week, and he’s been busy and will be busy scooping up awards, like the Ring 8 (NY) Fighter of the Year award on Sunday.
But let’s not pretend that he doesn’t still feel a sting, or that his psyche is completely immune from the pain, not physical, but to the pride, after being knocked down a bunch of times by The Congressman.
“It was my first loss, I am upset, no one if going to be happy after that,” he told me. “I didn’t get to show what I’m known for, my true abilities. But I went into a positive mode pretty much right away, seeing it as a learning experience.”
So he didn’t run out and get a Zoloft scrip then.. I wouldn’t have thought so….
I did wonder, what went off the rails and why? He said it was a combo, of poor gameplan, of Manny’s style, of maybe a bit too much concentration on promotion, instead of training and resting. But, he made sure to note, most of all, it was Pacman. Manny is the man, he said, and that’s the main reason for the L.
“I’m not one for excuses,” Algieri said. “Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter! For me, it was a whole new experience, and I’m smarter now.”
Funny how that is, wisdom is often handed to you in a package that involves bruising…
Algieri said the camp went well, and the next time–and he says there will be another BIG stage opp–he will have been there before, and know how to better handle the whole magilla.
“You can’t learn how to handle it till you’ve been there, and done it,” he stated.
So, will coach Tim Lane and the rest of the crew be there with him in the next rumble, and beyond? Would he replace Lane, or add another body to the squad?
“I’m not gonna drop anyone,” he said. “We’re a team, but is it possible, if I find the right guy, to add someone? Adding to the team is logical if I find the right fit.”
Algieri’s big bro asked if he wanted to watch the loss on the TV, and he said what the heck, let’s fire it up. Actually, he said, “What the eff, put it on!” That was the Tuesday night after the Saturday tussle. “The three things I am known for, the jab, combos, and adjusting to the other guy, I didn’t do,” he said. “It was aggravating to watch, because I didn’t look like myself!”
Algieri said he didn’t want to delve into what he heard in his corner as he watched, figuring that so much has been written and said about that already. There was, I told him, arguably excessive optimism displayed that many people thought was counter productive. He said there will be continuing conversations in the near future on all that stuff, and he will, yes, consider some tweaks so the corner works on four cylinders. “At the end of the day, it’s my career, and I’m in control,” he said. “It’s up to me.”
Algieri wants to be back in a ring soon, “very early” in 2015, because he is “very dissatisfied with my last fight, and I want to wash that off myself! I want to get right back in there and show who I am. I’m super hungry! I’m not looking to cash out. I’m looking to make a real run, and stay here awhile!”
He could fight at 147, or 140, he said, and he says he has graduated out of The Paramount, the intimate building in Huntington.
“We need a bigger venue, that’s too small,” he said. “Tune in,” he requests fight fans. “Algieri will be back big in 2015!”
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