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Chris Algieri to return Jan. 18 on DAZN, could fight Maurice Hooker for title weeks later

Chris Algieri. Photo by Esther Lin
16
Dec

Now that Chris Algieri’s long hiatus from the ring is over, he’s on the cusp of the opportunity to regain his title.

He’s being ticketed for a fight January 18 at Hulu Theater at MSG in New York on a card streamed by DAZN, Algieri’s manager, Keith Connolly, told The Ring. After he’s through with the second fight of his comeback, Algieri could turn around and challenge Maurice Hooker for the WBO junior welterweight title on February 23 at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York.

Whether Algieri fights again just weeks later will be contingent on him earning the victory January 18 and emerging from the bout without injuries, of course. After the fight, Algieri will huddle with Connolly and determine whether they’ll go through with a title bout vs. Hooker on just a few weeks’ preparation.

Algieri (22-3, 8 knockouts) is a proven ticket-seller on Long Island; Joe Smith, who is also from the area, will challenge Artur Beterbiev on that DAZN show in February as The Ring reported Friday.

The 34-year-old didn’t compete for 31 months before he signed with Connolly last year; he returned in November with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over journeyman Angel Hernandez. Just months later, Connolly could have Algieri could in position for a title fight.

Algieri upset Ruslan Provodnikov to win the WBO’s 140-pound title in June 2014, but he never defended the belt. Instead, Algieri immediately climbed to 147 pounds for a high-stakes showdown with Manny Pacquiao. Algieri was dropped six times by the future hall of famer, but somehow reached the finish line.

He fought three more times at welterweight before his long layoff: a close-decision defeat to Amir Khan, a points victory over Erick Bone and a knockout defeat to Errol Spence Jr.

Algieri is now back in the mix at 140 pounds. He stayed in the boxing gym during his layoff, and worked as a nutritionist for middleweight titleholder Daniel Jacobs, beginning with his March 2017 fight against Gennady Golovkin.

Hooker (25-0-3, 17 KOs) topped Terry Flanagan to win the title in June over in England. The Dallas native made the first defense of his title with another road trip, this time in Alex Saucedo’s hometown, Oklahoma City. Hooker survived a second-round knockdown to score a seventh-round KO in a thrilling fight televised by ESPN.

Hooker is co-promoted by Matchroom Boxing USA after he signed a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn, but has yet to box on DAZN. That will change soon, but there could be one constant: a title fight on enemy territory.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger

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