Algieri: Pulp Fiction Champion

By Joe Masterleo on November 23, 2014
Algieri: Pulp Fiction Champion
The only significance in Saturday’s fight lay in its aftermath. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

A night out would have been easier to swallow, even if the chef bungled the meal, and/or your date was a dog…

Predictably, the outclassed Chris Algieri was resoundingly defeated by Manny Pacquiao in Macau, China Saturday night, effectively dispelling Algieri’s rags-to-riches male Cinderella Myth embraced by himself, his wishful fans and the ever-huckstering HBO PPV propaganda machine. One might best have spent the $69.95 at dinner that night, than watch this PPV debacle. As for parity of opponents in championship bouts, for sure, a night out would have been easier to swallow, even if the chef bungled the meal, and/or your date was a dog.   

From the first round forward it became obvious Algieri was in over his head, moving further and further behind, like a guy who borrows a huge sum of money from a loan shark on a nasty gambling debt, not knowing what he was getting himself into. That’s because with each passing round his occasional-landing jab and right hand were feeble principle as measured against the fast accruing interest rate of faster punches thrown by his classier, elusive and more experienced opponent. Algieri simply couldn’t make the requisite round-by-round payments to keep up, and as a result dug himself into a deeper Black Hole approaching the mid-way point in the bout. By round six, falling woefully behind and suffering three knockdowns while devoid of KO power, it became altogether clear that Algieri couldn’t and wouldn’t make due. Heading toward the later rounds, one could anticipate that the chickens would sooner come home to roost for the insolvent, pretty boy challenger. It was time for the repo man to collect big-time, likely in the form of a KO. Such is the fate of those who hastily make a deal with the devil on a whim. The only surprise was that this one went to a decision, somewhat owing to Algieri’s gutsy resolve, but mostly to his fleeting feet.

Interestingly, the comments of Algieri’s cornermen on their man being “let out of his cage,” ostensibly to do greater damage to Pacquaio, along with their remarks late in the fight that team Algieri was “exactly where they wanted to be” must imply that the fleeing Stony Brook graduate was a canary that should sooner take flight than be devoured by the wily Filipino Cat moving in for the kill.  And that’s exactly what Algieri seemed to do while in avoidant survival mode the last round. Thus terminates Chris Algieri’s so-called rise to respectability, which by rights should have ended in his bout with light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov, or at least in a rematch with same following the scoring travesty that swindled the Russian out of a victory last June.

As a writer, Horatio Alger had more apropos tales and characters descript of the upstart Chris Algieri, namely, “Ragged Dick,” and “Jed, The Poorhouse Boy.” Alger never got beyond the “pulp novel” status that his work and critics reduced him to, nor will Algieri as a championship caliber boxer, looking better on paper than in the ring. Such currently characterizes HBO Sports, so heavily chomping at the bit for American boxing champions that its producers are clueless as to their own pulp fiction addiction to “Beauty vs. Beast” in shilling bouts like Algieri vs. Pacquiao.

Horatio Alger was once charged with the crime of “unnatural familiarity with boys,” causing him to publicly avoid his fascination with same as subjects for his novels. Says here, in the future HBO would do well to take heed before matching untested challengers with proven champions.

The only significance in this fight lay in its aftermath, in speculations as to who Pacquiao’s next opponent will be. Pray tell, will it long last be Mayweather?

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  1. Snerve 10:37am, 11/26/2014

    Wow Joe, you cut me deeeep. I’ll reply properly after I’ve Googled the meaning of “self-congratulatory”. Such a beeg word.

  2. Joe Masterleo 10:29am, 11/26/2014

    Eric and Snerve:

    Appreciate your inputs, but lest the two of you get too flattered by your self-congratulatory remarks, allow me to respond thusly; (1) just because a writer or anyone holds a differing view than your own as to the scoring of a bout (ie. Provodnikov vs Algieri) doesn’t mean they know “almost zero about boxing, or boxing scoring” as you say.  It simply means that you disagree, holding one viewpoint among many.  That’s what a viewpoint is, a view from a point, of which there are 360 on the compass.  Therefore, your opinion about such matters isn’t iron-clad, nor does the sun rise and set on it, despite your self-serving logic; (2) the fight was a mismatch no matter how you slice it, which is a different matter as to whether Algieri was entitled to a shot, which it seems he was.  If you’re OK with paying $70 to watch a mismatch, so be it.  I have better things to do with my time and $, and so do plenty of others.  But a classic fight this was not; (3) The Hatton KO a the KO of the year?  Puh-leeze.  When its bug vs. windshield, the windshield wins every time.  Perhaps its worth YOUR time and $ to view the inevitable “splat,”, but it isn’t mine; (3) next time, think before you write or speak, as difficult as that might be.

  3. Snerve 09:30pm, 11/25/2014

    Eric, maybe I’m changing the subject of the conversation but I just want to add my 5c worth regarding Pacman vs Money May. Obviously, this fight would make HUGE financial sense for both guys but apart from that, I think it would be a mistake for them both (if making 100 mill could ever be an error!) Here’s why..
    Manny and Roach have both stated their intention to drop to 140lb and Floyd might climb to Middleweight to fight Cotto again. So firstly, the guys are moving in different directions. Floyd has already cemented his legacy with or without Manny and yet another title would certainly not detract from that.
    Now let’s assume that the dream fight was made. If Floyd won, his detractors would say that it was because he was the naturally larger man and….. that the result would have been different 5 years prior.
    If Pacman won, Floyd’s supporters would argue that Mayweather was weakened from staying at a lower weight-class and also that he was nearing the end of his career and….. that the result would have been different 5 years prior.
    So as I see it, legacy wise, neither guy will necessarily benefit from the result. Both fighters are elite and will always be remembered as such. A long way down the road, boxing fans should be allowed to have the pleasure of discussing what MAY have been the result, in the same vein as Tyson vs Marciano. That will honour them far more than the result of a fight that should have happened long ago.

  4. Snerve 08:54pm, 11/25/2014

    Good to meet someone who knows his boxing, Eric.To be honest, I think that some of these scribes write controversial articles just to ‘stir the pot’ a bit. In my puristic view, Algieri is a pleasure to watch (prior fights, lol) and personified the adage “hit without BEING hit”. I believe he’ll have some top-level, closely competitive fights before doing the smart thing… investing his earnings and going to med school. And good luck to him!

  5. Eric 09:13am, 11/25/2014

    Snerve…Well said. I picked Algieri to win this bout, and I think Algieri won the Provodknikov bout. Algieri was slaughtered, but as you stated, hindsight is 20/20. I’m sure not many people were picking Ali over Liston, Braddock over Baer, or Schmeling over Louis in their first fight. Everyone is always an expert after the fact. I just wonder how many people would be owning up to picking Pac, had he lost to Algieri.

  6. Snerve 10:46pm, 11/24/2014

    Eric, hindsight is 20/20 vision and it’s easy for these “experts” to cry foul after a one-sided bout. But upsets are a huge part of boxing. Imagine them whining their complaints if Ali had hammered Leon Spinks #1, if Mancini had hammered Bramble #1, if Tyson had hammered Douglas. Man, I can go on all day…

  7. Darrell 01:00pm, 11/24/2014

    Speaking of HBO, in particular their commentary team, the runrealistic BS coming from their mouths with regards to the Chinese fighter Zhou Zhiming in the prelim bout before the main fight had me sticking a couple of fingers down my throat!  Even Kellerman, who can usually be relied upon to tell the truth or something approximating it, was initially as gushy as the ever increasingly sycophantic Jim Lampley (he must be deep in the pocket of Arum/Pacquiao)......though I must admit that as Zhiming’s fight went on Kellerman sounded more and more like a man who didn’t really have any conviction behind his words & therefore said less & less…...unlike the rest.

    Zhiming admittedly has only a handful of fights in the pro ranks but I can’t see him getting too far on the display I saw against a limited, light punching, slow, barely durable Thai fighter.  The moment Zhiming gets in with a tough, skilled, experienced boxer he is going to wish he could melt back into the faceless billion and a half or so throng of his countrymen.

    Vasyl Lomachenko, on the other hand, was absolutely dynamic, against a pretty good opponent…...and will be an absolute star in very short order.  He can change angles on a dime, makes full use of the ring and can do the business at any range he chooses.  The light bantam/feather/jnr featherweight divisions are full of some quality boxers at the moment.

  8. Eric 10:05am, 11/24/2014

    Snerve…Good point.

  9. Snerve 09:51am, 11/24/2014

    I was enjoying your article until I saw the nonsense about the Provodnikov “travesty”.  If you really believe that, you know almost Zero about boxing or boxing scoring. Ineffective offence counts for squat and from the 2-3 round on, Algieri threw far more of the clean, scoring punches. Algieri deserved his ‘wild-card’ challenge just as much, if not more, than Maidana did in the first fight against Money-May. I suppose if he’d been clearly beaten, you’d have been pontificating about that one too! Sometimes, the outsider deserves an opportunity. Hatton “deserved” a fight with Manny. What was the outcome? The KO of the century.

  10. Kid Blast 08:24am, 11/24/2014

    Hype = BS and NY hype is especially noxious

  11. Eric 07:23pm, 11/23/2014

    No doubt that being from the NYC area or even playing for a team based in that area has its benefits. Whether the rest of the country or even the world wants to accept it, NYC is the media capital of the world. I’m sure we wouldn’t have heard that much about Algieri or even Gerry Cooney back in the day, had these fighters hailed from the South or Midwest. Look at the attention awarded to Broadway Joe back in his playing days and beyond. The guy barely completed 50% of his passes and is easily more recognizable than someone like former San Diego Charger, Dan Fouts.

  12. Kid Blast 05:47pm, 11/23/2014

    Any resemblance between Quarry and this roadrunner is delusional This was all about the NYC hype machine. Do you think some kid from Ghana or Detroit would have gotten that kind of build-up? This was pure BS and anyone who fell for it deserved what he or she got—a slaughter.

    Chris needs to get a few more decent paydays and then get his PhD because boxing is not his calling. Meanwhile his burly trainer needs a visit to Belleview.

  13. Eric 04:58pm, 11/23/2014

    Koolz…Pacman gets tons of respect here, much more than the Klit brothers. Kind of weird dissing the heavyweight title like that, and I used to think it had more to do with the Klits pale complexion, than the Klits being “foreigners,” but I’ve discarded that theory. After all, the media was in love with Quarry & Cooney back in the day, but then again the media wasn’t as blatantly anti-White as it is today either. Before Lennox Lewis came along, the Brits were desperate to have a heavyweight champion. Had been a long time since Bob Fitzsimmons. Lewis wasn’t born in Britian and fought for Canada during the Olympics, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures, so the Brits claimed him. Have to admit that Lewis suffered some by being a “foreignor” just like the Klits. But this is only an American thing,  I bet you couldn’t find 5 Filipinos who rooted against Manny for any of his fights. Have to be real here, national origin, race, and ethnicity are major factors in who people root for whether we want to admit it or not. I don’t see many Puerto Ricans rooting for the Mexican fighter in one of those classic Mexican-Puerto Rican wars.

  14. Koolz 04:35pm, 11/23/2014

    Eric you answered your own Psychology in terms of politics and Boxing^_-

    There is nothing wrong with Nationalism for any nation and there sports, lets just look at the Olympics/Summer and Winter.

    But there is much corruption involved and lack of respect to other boxers because they are not that “American Apple Pie.”

    This goes beyond Bias.  There is the illusion of Rocky!  in the USA.

  15. Eric 04:09pm, 11/23/2014

    Isn’t it kind of par for the course for an American to show bias or favor an American athlete/boxer? I’m sure some Chinese citizen isn’t rooting for the Japanese or American athletes in the Olympics? I imagine most Germans were rooting for Max Schmeling, and most Italians were backing Carnera when each fighter fought Louis. I like Pacquiao and the Eastern European fighters, but lets not forget that Americans have dominated the sport of boxing for the most part, especially the heavier weight divisions.

  16. Koolz 02:21pm, 11/23/2014

    You hit the nail on the head with this one!!  It’s always about some silly new American boxer that will be the next big thing.  Of course Prov won that last fight but the whole city was against him.  I am reminded of Wlad as a Heavy Weight.
      Algieri propped up as there new prospect in America!  Another Hype Ball of Sillyness made into something he is not.

    I still say that fight should have had a TKO the ref was doing what exactly?  There were a couple of times it should have been stopped.

  17. Kid Blast 02:04pm, 11/23/2014

    Good stuff Joe.

  18. Eric 11:48am, 11/23/2014

    Irish…Given the present state of affairs, how much longer will it be before, “unnatural familiarity with boys” isn’t deemed “unnatural” anymore? Maybe they can cherry pick a scripture from the Bible to prove it.

  19. Eric 11:45am, 11/23/2014

    Nicolas…I don’t see Provoknikov winning that decision either, and I agree that this is “a really well written article.” However, a fighter always has a shot, remember Weaver-Tate or even LaMotta-Dauthuille. Granted neither Weaver or LaMotta were being outclassed nearly to the degree that Algieri was, but you just never know. Will be interesting to see if Algieri fights again and if elects to pocket his money and ride off to medical school. With that kind of money being offered, I’m sure Algieri saw a way to pay off some of those skrewel bills down the road. Maybe the kid knew he was outclassed & outgunned, but who wouldn’t jump at that amount of quick money.

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:42am, 11/23/2014

    “Unnatural familiarity with boys”.....“Ragged Dick”! ...“says here” this quote and this book title only add to the lustre of this superb championship caliber article…..still and all it might be fun to see Chris fleeing in terror from Rios or Alvarado.

  21. nicolas 11:32am, 11/23/2014

    A really well written article. even if I disagree with him that Provoknikov was robbed in that Jr Welterweight fight. While I don’t agree with the open scoring of the WBC, I think that if I fighter is so far behind on all three cards of a fight, that he has basically no chance of getting either a win or a draw on one of the cards by winning those last rounds, the fight be stopped and called some kind of decision win. In this so called world championship fight, they could even have a 15 round must rule.

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