Time definitely waits for no one.
But every so often someone comes along that rips through the limits of time like a human bulldozer.
Undefeated Chris Algieri (13-0, 6 KOs) tangles with fellow New Yorker Winston Mathis (7-4-1) on March 31 at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York. The Star Boxing event won’t be televised.
“Winston is from Rochester, New York. He’s a tough guy and comes to fight and has a really good chin,” Algieri says about his rival. “He lost to undefeated guys and he’s going to come to fight.”
It may be difficult to believe but Algieri has already accomplished some incredible goals and seeks another one or two more. He’s rumbling onward at full speed so don’t step in front of his way, you might get trampled on.
Was that Algieri that raced by?
Long Island’s Algieri has two lives: one spent toiling in the gyms working on his craft as a prizefighter and a second life is spent reading tons of books as he pursues entrance to medical school.
A regular human being would have thrown his hands up in exasperation.
“School is intense. The university is a full time job and a lot of work. You have courses like anatomy, chemistry and physics. They’re heavy courses,” admits Algieri who attended Stonybrook University in New York. “The time it takes is tremendous. But I’ve always been good at time management.”
While most of his fellow school mates spend leisure time cajoling in restaurants, theaters or coffee houses, Algieri heads toward the boxing gyms to train.
“It definitely wasn’t easy. I had to sacrifice time. I remember going out to dinner and bringing my books,” says Algieri, adding that attending social gatherings were very rare.
Learning about medicine is one thing. The Long Island prizefighter also has a passion developed in childhood to attain a world championship in boxing. He already has two world championships in kickboxing.
“I got my world titles in kickboxing. But that’s not enough. I want to go into my first love and that’s boxing,” he says.
Darn! Was that Algieri running by again?
Professional boxing has so many intricacies and fine movements that are invisible to the casual fight fan. It takes many years of training to master them.
“I love the training, dedication and discipline and learning the fine movements,” says Algieri who is currently training in Oxnard under famed coach Robert Garcia. “To an untrained eye it looks like two guys just punching each other. But it’s much more. Even just to spar at such a high level it’s a beautiful thing. Boxing is art.”
A single mistake can wreck everything in a prize fight. A single punch can destroy a life. But Algieri has dreams and they include a world title as a boxer and a later career as a doctor.
“My advisors tell me to go to medical school, to go all the way,” Algieri said. “I’m getting a lot of recognition in boxing now and my friends in school see it s for real and I’m not playing around.”
No time to waste.
Three Southern California fight cards erupt on Friday then a middleweight championship bout takes center stage the next day when undisputed world champion Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) defends against Great Britain’s Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) in New York City.
Plenty of choices for fight fans.
First, Coachella’s undefeated Randy Caballero (13-0, 7 KOs) defends the WBC Youth junior featherweight title against Jose Luis Araiza (29-5-1, 20 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.
The Golden Boy Promotions fight card also features Blythe’s Andrew Cancio (12-1-2, 11 KOs) in a severe test against former title contender Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez (27-5, 18 KOs) who lives in Chino. Both bouts will be televised on Showtime and could end abruptly on Friday night.
On the same day, former junior welterweight champion Kendall Holt (27-5, 15 KOs) fights Baltimore’s Tim Coleman (19-2-1, 5 KOs) in a welterweight main event at Morongo Casino. If you remember, Holt lost the title to Palm Spring’s Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley a few years back. The New Jersey-based boxer with solid power has moved up in weight.
Also on the Morongo fight card will be La Puente’s undefeated Abraham Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs). He’s fought many times at the Doubletree Hotel and collides with Gabriel Tolmajyan (12-1-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round contest between featherweights.
About 35 miles west of Riverside All Star Boxing hosts a boxing and mixed martial arts fight card at the Quiet Cannon Country Club. They’ve consistently built a fan base for both boxing and MMA fans the past several years. Most of the bouts feature young prospects in both prizefighting styles. Many past and current world champions began fighting on their cards, plus there are always celebrities attending the fight shows.
Madison Square Garden Theater is the site for Argentina’s Martinez middleweight world championship defense against Macklin on Saturday. Located right in the heart of Manhattan its only fitting that the old Mecca of boxing stages the fight.
The “Garden” as its known to old fight followers, once was the center of the boxing universe. Plenty of world championship fights took place in this location. Currently this is the fourth version of the Garden, located on Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Street.
Middleweight champions like Stanley Ketchel, Al McCoy, Harry Greb, Mickey Walker, Ceferino Garcia, Tony Zale, Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson all fought many times in Madison Square Garden. It’s almost mandatory that a middleweight world championship bout take place under its storied roof.
Martinez erupted on the American boxing scene several years ago as an Argentine who had fought primarily in Spain for almost a decade. When he arrived in the U.S. he was thought to be a so-so fighter. That proved to be an egregious mistake.
A draw by the southpaw Martinez against noted slugger Kermit Cintron, though he knocked that fighter down twice, proved to be a harbinger of things to come. Next up was Paul Williams who emerged with a skintight win and Pavlik who ended up a loser. Martinez quickly showed American fans he was exceptionally quick and gifted.
The big moment for Martinez came in a rematch with Williams for the middleweight championship. He had lost a disputed match to the tall and lanky Georgia fighter but in the rematch he promised a knockout win.
“I know how he fights now,” claimed Martinez who lives in Port Hueneme, Calif.
Those words proved prophetic as he put Williams to sleep with a single overhand left hand in the second round. It deemed by most to be the “knockout of the year” in 2010.
Subsequent knockout wins over Russia’s undefeated Serhiy Dzinziruk and Great Britain’s undefeated Darren Barker have kept him on top. Martinez wants more than the middleweight world championship, he wants fame and fortune.
“I want to be known as the best boxer who ever lived,” said Martinez, 37. “That’s my goal, to be known as the best.”
Macklin knows that a win over Martinez could vault him all the way to the top too. If Martinez wins, a marquee fight in the “big room” at the Garden would make sense, as he’s promoted by New Yorker Lou DiBella.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Kendall Holt (27-5) vs. Tim Coleman (19-2-1).
Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Randy Caballero (13-0) vs. Jose Luis Araiza (29-5-1).
Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Sergio Martinez (48-2-2) vs. Matthew Macklin (28-3).
Sat. Telefutura, 11 p.m., Carlos Molina (15-0-1) vs. Angino Perez (11-3).
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?