Former WBO light welterweight champion, Chris Algieri, is returning to the ring this weekend and hopes a win over Erick Bone might lead to another high profiled fight in 2016. Algieri lost a one sided fight to Manny Pacquiao in 2014, but rebounded with a close competitive loss to Amir Khan in his last bout and has grown his name in the process.
In my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview interview with Chris Algieri, he talks about the upcoming bout with Erick Bone and what it means to his boxing career. Chris also talks about his decision loss to Amir Khan and how he has improved from the Manny Pacquiao bout. Additionally, Algieri gives his views on Pacquiao vs. Khan and the chances he gets a title shot next year. Here is what Chris Algieri had to say.
Jenna J: You are going to be fighting this Saturday against Erick Bone. How do you feel about the fight?
Chris Algieri: I’m feeling really good, training camp went really well. I’m feeling like I’m in great shape and I’m looking to put on a great performance on Saturday night.
Jenna J: How do you see this fight as in terms of your career? Do you see this as a stay busy fight or as the most important fight in your career?
Chris Algieri: Every fight is important at this stage of the game. I gotta go out there and perform and get the victory to keep moving in the direction that I want to keep moving in. I want to be welterweight champion of the world, so I need to keep moving forward, keep winning and keep performing and impressing.
Jenna J: You just fought Amir Khan, what were the differences between the Khan fight and the Manny Pacquiao fight you had? What was different with you between each fight?
Chris Algieri: Just my preparedness, more in terms of being in a big fight and being in a main event on a high end show. I learned a lot from the Pacquiao experience with everything leading up to it, the press, the media, fight week of a mega fight situation. Going into the Khan fight, I was a lot more comfortable and calm and able to perform at my best.
Jenna J: If you could have done anything different in the Manny Pacquiao fight, what would you have done?
Chris Algieri: I definitely would have been more aggressive, it’s my nature to be an aggressive guy and I haven’t really had a chance to show that as much until recently. I think if I would have gotten more on my jab and was more aggressive in the way that I’m naturally inclined to be, I think I would have been a lot more successful.
Jenna J: There’s a lot of talk that Pacquiao and Khan might meet each other in the ring next. If that happens, what do you think goes down?
Chris Algieri: It’s hard to say. Pacquiao’s coming off of that shoulder surgery and Amir Khan’s a tough fight for anybody and to come back off of an injury and have that as your first opponent, I think that wouldn’t be a smart move for Pacquiao. But I think it would be a great fight, you got two great fighters there.
Jenna J: What did you see in Pacquiao when he fought Floyd Mayweather? Do you think that was the Pacquiao you fought or do you think that was someone that was injured?
Chris Algieri: That fight was more of a stylistic fight than anything. I don’t think Pacquiao was ever a good match up for Floyd, it’s just the way their styles mesh. I’m not gonna say one guy is better than the other guy in terms of greatness, they’re both great fighters but it’s just the way their styles mesh up. I don’t ever really see Pacquiao being able to beat Floyd, just because of the styles.
Jenna J: If you win your next fight and you look impressive, what do you think is the nest course of action?
Chris Algieri: We’re looking forward to just keep chomping at the bit, keep working our way up the rankings in the welterweight division. This is only my second fight at welterweight, so we’ve got some proving to do in this division. I’m a former world champion in another weight class but I got to earn my keep here at welterweight, so we just want to keep busy, keep learning. I stay in the gym, so I just want to keep progressing and getting that much closer to what my true potential is in the ring.
Jenna J: The champion of the weight class is retired now that Floyd Mayweather is gone. What did you think of Floyd and all of his accomplishments?
Chris Algieri: You can’t knock the guy at all, he’s undefeated. I don’t care what you say about his style or the guys he fought or this or that, but being undefeated for as many years as he did and fighting world champion after world champion, you can’t say anything negative in terms of his accomplishments. I think he was a great champion but it’s time for a new era or champions and young fighters.
Jenna J: What do you think of the top guys in the welterweight division right now?
Chris Algieri: I think there’s a lot of excellent talent in the welterweight division. In terms of being an elite fighter, this is the division that you would want to be in if you’re an active elite guy. I’m blessed and honored to be in that grouping right now, but in terms of any guys in particular, I think everyone has a lot more to prove until a true top of the division can emerge.
Jenna J: Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Timothy Bradley are all top contenders in the division, does anyone of them interest you?
Chris Algieri: I’ve always been the kind of guy that never picks opponents. I fight with whatever opportunities are in front of me but I’m always looking for the biggest fights, so whoever is out there and is the biggest fight for me, I think that’s the next step.
Jenna J: You’re at 147lbs right now, is that permanent move or do you see yourself going down for the right fight?
Chris Algieri: My weight is a fluctuating thing, I have good control of my body and where I can put it, so this isn’t the end all be all for me. I could go down, I could go up, I got the frame to even fight at 154lbs. There’s definitely no way to predict which weight class I’ll end up in, but right now I’m feeling very comfortable at 147lbs.
Jenna J: Being that you faced one of the greatest fighters of this generation, what are your thoughts on Manny Pacquiao’s career accomplishments and what he did?
Chris Algieri: He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer, he’s done things that are incredible in terms of how many weight classes he’s fought in and been world champion in. He’s another guy that you can’t really knock in terms of his accomplishments, but it just shows you that the era is coming to an end and the Floyd’s and the Manny’s are moving out and it’s time for the next star to step up.
Jenna J: What do you think about the future of boxing with Pacquiao and Mayweather exiting the sport? How do you think boxing does going forward?
Chris Algieri: I think there’s gonna be a transition phase of course, but I think that pop culture is very in tune with what’s going on in boxing these days and you see a lot more boxing in the various entertainment venues out there. You see the sport mixing with fashion, modeling and movies, so many things. I think we’re in a good place in terms of boxing as a whole but we just need the right kinds of fighters and personalities to step up and take the reigns moving forward.
Jenna J: Lets got back to your fight with Erick Bone. How do you expect the fight to play out from the opening bell to the finish?
Chris Algieri: I’m not much of a prediction guy but I’m gonna go out there and look to assert control and utilize a lot of the things that we’ve been working on in camp and look to be in control and put on a great performance. You never know what’s gonna happen in the ring but I feel very confident and very strong moving forward and I’d like to show some new wrinkles that I’ve been picking up along the way.
Jenna J: The new year is just around the corner, do you think 2016 is the year that you will be holding a welterweight title in?
Chris Algieri: That’s the plan, 2016 is going to be my year. I’ve had a great past couple of years and I would like to get back on my winning ways and get another title under my belt. 2016 is going to be a great year, I got a great feeling.