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21 NOVEMBER 2018

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Khan Survives Algieri Challenge, Mayweather Next?

Khan Vs Algieri
Khan Vs Algieri

By Jason Pribila: Boxing fans packed the Barclays Center to see Amir Khan make his case that he should be the man across the ring from Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September. The only thing standing in his way was New York native, Chris Algieri, who was fresh off picking himself up off the canvas six times during his first professional loss at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.


Despite the landslide loss against Pacquiao, Algieri is still considered a fine boxer. Amir Khan was thought of as being a better boxer. As for power, Algieri could boast that he damaged Ruslan Provodnikov’s hands with his face when they met in the same building last year. Khan’s power is generated by his lightning fast hands. Khan seemed to have picked the perfect opponent to show off his skills without exposing his chin.


Oops, sorry Amir. I was not supposed to mention the chin.


Actually the addition of world class trainer, John David Jackson, to Algieri’s corner ensured that Khan’s chin would be part of this fight’s story.


The bout began as expected with Khan setting his feet and flashing one-twos. Algieri was looking to counter Khan while creating distance behind his jab.


Mid-way through round two, Algieri landed as clean of a punch that he could have dreamed of landing on Khan’s chin. On cue, Khan wobbled, and took a half step back. He survived the punch, but he and those watching the fight were put on notice that Algieri had worked on a few new wrinkles for this opponent.


Khan would rebound and he would soon continue to throw and land at a higher connect percentage. Algieri continued to throw punches with bad intentions. The taller Algieri would throw lead right hands from the outside, and when Khan would come forward, Algieri would throw left hooks anticipating Khan’s escape route.


Algieri continued to have his moments. He had Khan in trouble several times in the middle rounds, and there was tension in Khan’s corner. Trainer Virgil Hunter was heard on camera pleading with Khan to recognize that Algieri was not interested in winning a boxing match.


Khan was soon able to draw from the many moments where he faced adversity in the ring, and stopped Algieri in his tracks by landing two hard left hooks. Algieri came forward where he was greeted with a highlight reel uppercut and the type of clean body shot that has ended many prize fights.


Algieri bit down on his mouthpiece, and continued to come forward, knowing that was the only direction where he would be able to seek victory.


Algieri never really threatened again, and Khan survived a tougher than expected battle. The official judges seemed to favor Khan’s higher connect percentage over Algieri’s pressure. They judged the fight correctly as they turned in scores of 115-113, and 117-111 twice, even if 117-111 seemed to be a bit wide.


Say what you will about Amir Khan. His skills have elevated him to great heights within the sport of boxing. It’s his flaws, however, that ensure that he will never be in a boring fight. Well, unless he does get the chance to fight Mayweather.


My guess is that the boxing public will not give Khan enough credit for this win, and demand that Mayweather seek an alternative in September. Realistically, I’m not sure if that person is out there.


I would also like to take a moment to congratulate Chris Algieri from bouncing back from a rough night against Pacquiao. Algieri has a Masters Degree. He’s probably already exceeded the expectations of most, and made more money in the Pacquiao fight that he could have easily walked away from the sport. Instead, he chose to get back to work and step into the ring as an underdog for the third consecutive time.


If more boxers could be cut from the Algieri cloth, this sport would not have to wait 17 year for another Super Fight. This is a cerebral fighter who chose to go against his boxing instincts and fight an aggressive style, knowing it would be best suited to fight that style against Khan.


Algieri was not blessed with power. If he had an ounce of it, he would have knocked Khan down and probably out. More impressively, the shots Khan landed in the tenth round would have stopped 90 percent of the “top” welterweights and junior welterweights in the world.


As the busy boxing calendar will feature fighters who fail to make weight, fight in a safety first manner, and put survival ahead of entertaining those who have paid hard earned money to watch them ply their trade; just think about if they had the drive and heart of a fighter like Algieri.


Not everyone “Can….get it”.


Fortuna vs Vasquez:

Going into his bout against Bryan Vasquez, brash super featherweight Javier Fortuna predicted that the fight would not last more than five rounds. His prediction turned out to be less accurate than many of the wide punches that he threw throughout the 12 round bout.


Fortuna (28-0, 20 KO) landed the flashier punches throughout the fight. Often waiting for the final seconds of the round to let his hands go, ensuring that the final impression that he left on the judges would be a positive one.


Bryan Vasquez (34-2, 18 KO) seemed to be less impressed than the judges and ringside commentators with Fortuna’s style and power. He put in an honest evening of work and had his moments throughout the fight. The problem was that when he was able to time the hyper-moving Fortuna, he was only able to do so with single shots.


When the fighters chose to trade, each gave as well as they received. In a majority of those flurries, much like a majority of the rounds, Vasquez continued to come up short.


Fortuna used the final round as an opportunity to run a 3 minute victory lap. He as well as his corner felt he did enough during the first eleven frames to ensure victory was only one final bell away.


The official scores were read and they confirmed Fortuna was a titlist winning by the comfortable scores of: 116-112, 117-111, 117-111.


Premier Boxing Champions will return to Spike TV in two weeks televising the mismatch between Erislandy Lara and Delvin Rodriguez.


Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at and followed on @PribsBoxing.

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