Amir Khan predicts ‘good little test,’ Chris Algieri trainer predicts ‘surprise’
Man looked ready for a Hamptons shindig, did Amir Khan, as he waitied for the photogs to snap pics of him and Friday-night foe Chris Algieri, down under the Brooklyn Bridge on Tuesday afternoon.
Khan, the 28-year-old Brit, cut a dashing figure – I heard a tourist-type, as he walked by Team Khan, say, “Are those the rich people?” – and was amiable as he chatted with some media, days out from his tangle at Barclays Center, which will run on Spike.
The 30-3 (19 knockouts, has been stopped twice) Khan told THE RING he’s pleased as punch to be back in New York, and it figures, being that his wife grew up on Staten Island.
He said he has fond memories of boxing in NY – he beat Paul Malignaggi here in May 2010 – and he said he’s by no means looking past Algieri, a 31-year-old with a 20-1 (8 KOs) record.
Yes, Algieri comes in off a loss to Manny Pacquiao, but “he’s beat the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov and Emmanuel Taylor, so he’s been in with some decent names,” Khan told me. “It’s a good little test for me.”
Asking around, I’m not finding many folks who are picking Algieri in the upset; makes sense, life is a “what have ya done for me lately” endeavor, and last time out, Algieri had an off night against Manny Pacquiao.
But his new trainer, John David Jackson, an ex 154 and 160 champ, seems quite confident in his new charge. They got together at the start of the year and the Florida-based tutor to Sergey Kovalev told me that the Long Islander brings much to the table on May 29. JDJ said that quite quickly after they got together, “I learned that he can fight,” and he’s a better fighter than he’s showed. “I think Amir is in for a big surprise,” he stated.
Jax said that he didn’t know what Algieri had, so he didn’t have a preconceived notion of him, but he saw him shadowbox and knew he had promise. Speed, power that he didn’t use, and an immense desire to be an A-grade performer stood out for him. Jackson nodded when we talked about the Joe DeGuardia-promoted Algieri craving big fights, not going back to club shows on the island after the Pacman loss. We both agreed that is, win or lose, an admirable pursuit.
The trainer said that Khan still has an iffy chin, and he wants Algieri to test that. Khan is coming up in weight, and he thinks Algieri will be the stronger man at Barclays. Prediction, for the main event on the card co-promoted by Lou DiBella with an assist from DeGuardia? “Victory, regardless of knockout or decision, victory for Chris!”
I’m looking forward to the chief support bout, which pits ace ring general Bryan Vasquez, the fighting pride of Costa Rica, holding a 34-1 mark, against Dominican Javier Fortuna (27-0-1). They were to tangle on May 23, but their face-off got slid over to May 29 after the Paul Malignaggi-Danny O’Connor undercard tiff got scratched because Malignaggi got cut in sparring.
RING readers, does JDJ make sense? Could Algieri indeed be the stronger man on Friday, and could he be a different fighter, much improved, under the new trainer? Talk to us!
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