The white-collared Chris Algieri (21-2-0, 8 KO) did not become a boxer to make money. Rumored to have previously turned down an offer to fight Errol Spence (19-0, 16 KO) because it did nothing for him, Haymon has served Spence to Algieri once again but with added perks: Spence is a more recognizable name, enough so that the bout will air on NBC prime time, and the winner becomes the mandatory to Kell Brook's IBF welterweight title.
Had Algieri fought Spence a year earlier, he would have gotten little for his troubles. Furthermore, in order to fight for a title, if not Spence, Algieri was likely going to have to upset someone. Such is the nature of business, management, and promotion.
Algieri is the guy who fought Ruslan Provodnikov, Manny Pacquiao, and Amir Khan; he is the recognizable face and name of Spence's previous opponents. That is to say, Algieri is the litmus test that Spence feels confident he can surpass to acquire more recognition and respect from boxing heads. It is thanks to Algieri that Spence is headlining a prime time event.
Hardly established as a professional boxer, Algieri has already publicly stated that he is only looking for “big fights” or he will retire. So while Spence was gracious that Algieri was willing to fight him, unlike other possible welterweights, all the praise still goes to Al Haymon who woos everyone in the room.
Conventional wisdom suggests that Algieri is going to attempt to spend most of his time circling to Spence's right, away from his straight left hand. Algieri will want to effective with his jab and left hook to the head to control Spence's lead right hand. Spence will want to counter that strategy by slipping Algieri's lead hand to land right hooks to the body.
Indeed, Algieri will want to do the sticking and moving, outwork Spence and not allow Spence time to plant his feet to throw hard straight left hands to the head and right hooks to the body. Spence, while acknowledged as a hard puncher, has mainly faced opposition that lacked movement allowing him to plant himself for his hard shots.
While Algieri is well conditioned enough to keep up his activity and movement, he is not explosively quick. What Algieri will need to avoid is being reluctant to throw punches as was the case when he fought Manny Pacquiao. The way for Algieri to outwork Spence is to get off his punches first and to move. He must commit to his punches, especially the straight right hand, when he throws. Against Pacquiao, when Algieri did throw punches his momentum was backwards, without follow-through, as he timidly punched at his target.
Spence-Algeri airs on NBC at 8:30pm US Eastern this Saturday, April 16.