Story by: Chip Mitchell
On Friday May 29, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY, Spike TV presents a very meaningful welterweight matchup between Amir “King” Khan and Chris Algieri. The bout will take place at Barclays Center. The Spike TV televised card begins at 9:00pm eastern time. I hope the team of Antonio Tarver, Jimmy Smith, Scott Hanson, and Dana Jacobson handle this broadcast. they were pretty good their first time out in March.
This will be Khan’s first fight since his masterful performance against Devon Alexander to win the WBC Silver welterweight title last December. This fight also marks his fifth outing with Virgil Hunter as his trainer, and Khan has seemingly hit his stride going into this battle. Hunter previously stated that it would take “at least three fights and three training camps” for Khan to evolve technique-wise and he appears to be on point.
The last time we saw Algieri, he was fighting in Macao, China. Algieri is looking to bounce back from a loss against Manny Pacquiao last November when he was sent to the canvas (officially) six times. In that loss, as well as his prior victory against Ruslan Provodnikov, Algieri showed the heart of a champion by battling through adversity. This fight in his eyes is just as big for him as it is for Khan.
Tale of The Tape
Age: Amir Khan 28, Chris Algieri 31
Current Status: Amir Khan – WBC Silver Welterweight Champion and #6 World ranking, Chris Algieri – World #14 ranked contender
Professional Record: Amir Khan – 30-3-0, 19 KOs, Chris Algieri– 20-1-0, 8 KOs
Height: Amir Khan – 5 foot 8 ½, Chris Algieri 5 foot 10
Knockout Percentage: Amir Khan – 58%, Chris Algieri – 38%
Previous Fight: Khan 12/13/2014, Algieri 11/23/2014
Common Opponents: None of Note
Amir “King” Khan
This fight could be the moment of truth for Amir Khan. Look impressive against Algieri, and Khan could finally get the fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr that he’s coveted for the past few years. The blueprint for Mayweather is to select an opponent that he feels he can beat, but also one who wins impressively in his previous fight (Mosley, Maidana, Guerrero, Cotto, etc). The formula is simple for Khan. First he has to win. Secondly he has to beat Algieri in spectacular, if not solid fashion. Thirdly, he has to do as much out of the ring to pressure Mayweather into a fight as he does inside of the ring. He should use social media and whatever other avenues are at his disposal.
I feel this is necessary in case Mayweather has been stringing Khan along as many (including this writer) believe he has in the past. A nice backup plan would be a fight with Manny Pacquiao. There are a few storylines that would come into play if this matchup were to take place.
This is also a moment of truth in a sense for Chris Algieri. After the loss to Pacquiao, many have written Algieri off as a club fighter who made big on one victory. Is he? I can’t answer that but what I do know is that fighting Amir Khan is going to tell us a lot about where Algieri is as a fighter.
Chris Algieri got a bit of a late start. He had a kickboxing background but boxing is different in many facets. If he loses badly to Khan, he will likely drop out of the Top 15 and will have some to do some soul-searching. I think Chris knows this and is looking to give a performance that will open the eyes of even his most diehard fans.
Amir Khan has wins over Devon Alexander (UD 12), Luis Collazo (UD 12), Julio Diaz (UD 12), Zab Judah (KO 5), Marcos Maidana (UD 12), Paulie Malignaggi (TKO 11), Andriy Kotelnik (UD 12), and Marco Antonio Barrera (TD 5). He has losses to Danny Garcia (TKO 4), Lamont Peterson (SD 12), Breidis Prescott (KO 1).
Chris Algieri has wins over Ruslan Provodnikov (SD 12), Emanuel Taylor (UD 10), and Mike Arnaoutis (UD 10).
Amir Khan has world-class hand speed. One thing many don’t know is that he also has excellent foot speed to go along with it. His power is not concussive, but it is sharp enough to wear you down and get you out of there. He has accuracy with punch placement and although younger than Algieri, much more experience in big fights.
Chris Algieri has good footwork and boxes well behind a piston-like jab. He is in superior shape and doesn’t fade in the late rounds. Chris uses his height well for the most part and uses it to control distance.
Amir Khan can be caught and dropped. His chin is questionable and that is usually the focus of an attack against him. Amir at times like to brawl when boxing is the item of order for the day.
Chris Algieri can’t punch. Even if he lands and drops Khan, it is likely that Khan will be able to recover and get up from the knockdown. Algieri lacks the power to follow-up and stop Khan in this scenario.
Amir Khan has the heart of a champion. There is no quit in him and in many cases, that could spell success or doom. Khan has not been with Virgil Hunter for long, but at the same time he has progressed very well under Virgil’s guidance. Khan has his eyes on the big prize of Mayweather and a secondary prize of Pacquiao. He’s talked more, it seems of a Mayweather fight than he has about beating Algieri. Could that be his downfall?
Algieri survived while hurt against the devastating puncher Provodnikov. This is Algieri’s first fight under the tutelage of John David Jackson. Khan seems to have one eye on Algieri and another on Mayweather. Algieri should be more focused as he has nothing to lose and less pressure on him than Amir. Algieri has 21 fights. he’s fought 20 of those fight in New York.
Key to Victory for Khan
Amir Khan has a questionable chin, but against Algieri he has to feel as if he can’t be in jeopardy of being hurt. Khan’s chin issues could be related to 140 pounds, and the seven extra pounds of fighting at 147 could be antidote.
Amir has been awesome against guys who don’t have much power (Malignaggi, Collazo, Alexander). Algieri could be right up his alley, with only eight KOs. Khan is extremely difficult to outbox and he should use his hand speed and movement in this fight. Khan’s game plan should be to get off first and cause Algieri to go defensive. Fight him the same way he fought Paulie, Collazo, and Alexander. The plan is that simple.
Keys to Victory for Algieri
Chris Algieri needs to use lateral movement and attempt to score when he sees opening. Chris should look to throw with Khan as much as he looks to counter Khan as Amir tries to open up. His strength is his jab and he needs to throw it often. Algieri has a very awkward style when he’s in defensive posture. If he can make Khan miss, pivot and counter, and move out of range, it will serve him.
He has to find a way to slow the hard charging Khan down where Paulie, Collazo, and Alexander couldn’t do so. He needs to throw with Amir, like Danny Garcia did and hope to rattle Amir’s hard charges.
This a dangerous fight for Amir Khan. If he ever wanted the Mayweather fight, now is the time for it to happen. He must win and he must look good doing it. Khan may press to look good and in turn, it could create offensive openings for Algieri.
Algieri’s lateral movement and counters paid dividends in his fight against Provodnikov. He boxed Provodnikov’s ears off. Even though he was dropped multiple times, his movement also saved him from being KO’d by Pacquiao. He has 21 fights and 20 of them have been in New York. Algieri will be stoked for this one, for sure.
If Algieri had more power, he’d be a live dog in this fight. He doesn’t and I believe Khan will look strong in this fight. It seems as if every time Khan gets to the brink of something big, he loses momentum with a shaky or bad performance. He’s learned from that and I believe Virgil Hunter will have him ready for this one.
Movement worked against Provodnikov, but I think Khan will be able to maneuver within punching position enough to make Algieri pay quite often. Although Algieri will be pumped with the New York crowd behind him, we should remember that Khan fought Paulie in NY, and Peterson in DC. He dominated Paulie and beat Peterson on many media member’s scorecards. I like Khan by unanimous decision.
Khan UD 12