The young Chris played baseball, basketball, and swimming. His mother did not like him playing football, but he was hooked in karate at a young age. He said when his parents dropped him off at instructor Robert Mauro’s U.S. Karate Academy in Huntington, Chris found he loved everything about the sport.
“I had to internalize a lot of things, focus on my inner self and be disciplined. I liked the physical contact when we sparred. I wanted to hit people hard and be in fights. I was just always that way,” Algieri said.
“Chris had the discipline to do what it took to become great, and almost everybody doesn’t. He was a rare one. You didn’t have to ride him. You just sent him in the right direction, and he would keep going until you told him to stop,” Mauro said.
Brother Michael, who was five years older, used to beat little Chris “any chance he had.” Chris said he hated Michael him at that time but he got used to getting hit and being very physical. They are the best of friends now.
Adriana and her father, Chris’ grandfather, wanted Chris to become a doctor. She and her husband never understood why Chris liked combat, saying they thought “it would fizzle and go away.”
And while Chris’ grandfather always told him not to be a boxer, they used to sit and watch all the boxing fights on television. In broken English, he would tell Chris about all the big- time boxers, the history and the big fights.
“It was always a boxing kind of house in that respect, but education was No. 1,” Adriana recalled.
So when Chris decided to shift to boxing, Adriana told him he needed to balance the physical stuff with education and earn his master’s degree. There was no discussion, and Chris went to NYIT for his master’s degree in clinical nutrition. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. Boxing Coach Keith Trimble said it is Chris’ mental attitude that sets him apart.
“He’s so mentally tough that you can’t frustrate him, you can’t get in his head, you can’t psych him out,” he said.
Algieri was frustrated with the seemingly slow progress in his boxing career. He even financed attempts to be on his own in Las Vegas in 2010 and California in 2012, but failed on both times. In 2011, Algieri signed with New York promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing and fought the first of eight straight bouts at the Paramount Theater in Huntington.
But Algieri was not satisfied and threatened to quit boxing. So DeGuardia lined up an ESPN fight against Emanuel Taylor (17-1, with 12 knockouts). Algieri was scared, but with Tim Lane and Trimble training him, he got a unanimous decision which in turn earned him the fight against Provodnikov.
Very good for someone who never boxed a whole fight before. Lane said Chris did 10 rounds of being a master boxer against a guy who had 200 amateur fights and knocks people out.
“The battle between Pacquiao and Algieri may not have the same mainstream appeal as many of the other Pacquiao fights, but this could easily be a tough test for the veteran fighter.
If Pac-Man doesn’t take Algieri seriously, this bout could end in shocking fashion,” analyzed the General Manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Ferdinand Rojas.
Algieri also did well in his fight against Ruslan Provodnikov, despite his discolored and swollen shut right eye and his two first-round knockdowns. That victory got him the chance to face eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
While many say it is a mismatch, Chris does not mind. With the WBO belt on him, he will face 35-year-old Pacquiao on November 22 at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian in Macau. He will go into the ring with a plan and a firm conviction he can execute it precisely.
People’s Champ weakness is he’s much shorter and has to go under Algieri’s long jab said PATAFA President Philip Juico Algieri is confident. This is his biggest purse and his biggest fight. He has nothing to lose. And he knows that his edge over Pacquiao’s experience, power, and even fame, is what is in “the space between his ears.” (Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea)