Premier’s Boxing Shines Once Again

by JC Papaleo

Gone seem to be the days that we were used to seeing great boxing matches and champions on free TV.

Guess again boxing fans, Premier Boxing is back on NBC, CBS and Spike Networks.

Its no secret that most of the boxing matches on TV are now viewed under a microscope of criticism and cynicism.

The super mega fight of the 21st Century is much behind us and left a bad taste in our mouths but wait a second we are not talking about the past, we are talking about the future of boxing.
Last week we were treated to great bouts like Britain’s James Degeale vs Andre Dirrell in an exciting bout that not only pleased the fans but pleased many boxing critics as well.

It was an exciting night with both fighters showing their skills from the first round.

James Degeale was hurt, battered and cut badly and looked like Andre Dirrell was going to impose his game with finer boxing skills and accurate punching.

Then just like that, the theater of unexpected was to strike again and in the closing minutes of round two Dirrell hit the canvas twice and was hurt badly from a looping left hand that was finding its mark through most of the middle rounds and through the fight.

Many questioned the stamina and commitment of Andre Dirrell during the closing rounds of his fights, but tonight was to be a different night as he started to impose himself later in the fight and picked up some steam during the closing minutes. Unfortunately it would be not enough as the judges saw the fight shift into the British fighters corner.

Both fighters showed great heart and determination on a night that both were deserving of a win, but unfortunately there was to be only one winner on that night for England that could have very easily resulted in well deserved a draw.
Once again boxing has returned and not to put us to sleep but, to spark our interest in boxing fans for  this summer’s upcoming matches.

May 29th Barclays Arena.

Lets jump start to May 29th Friday night at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York City to the fight of

Chris “the Fighting Collegian” Algieri vs Amir King Khan.

On a night full of excitement we saw Marcus Brown edge his opponent in a bout that seem frustrating for Brown with lots of fouls and drama, but Brown was in command the whole night in Brooklyn with the hometown crowd rooting him on.

With his trainer Sheriff Younan guiding him and saying ” Brown was trying to set a rhythm but the cagy veteran would not go quietly into the Brooklyn night as he survived and kept Marcus working the rounds. We would have like more body work and combinations but we are happy to get the work in and continue to go forward.

We also saw Dominican Lightweight Champion Javier Fortuna battle Bryan Vasquez in an exciting 12 rounder that produced fireworks from the very start of the fight,

where neither man was backing down in a little Latin slug fest  which epitomized machismo.

Questions circled about Fortuna’s endurance and his possible chin, but neither was an issue.

Although Vasquez had never been knocked down or out he mad a valiant effort but the night belonged to Fortuna, as we saw
Fortuna capitalized the rounds with accurate punching and higher volume as he got the decision of the night and another win on his belt.

Then we moved to the main event of the night.
Chris Algieri,20-2, 8 KO’s’ vs Amir Khan,31-3,19KO’s.
The fight seemed from the beginning a bit of a mismatch with the long island native and his fans being very hopeful in their hearts but the boxing members of the fraternity giving Khan all the credit in the world and an edge in power, experience and speed.

To the surprised of them all Chris Algieri jumped into the heart of the lion going straight in to Khan’s line of fire.
Many gave the New Yorker little credit or a chance against the Britain welterweight. Algieri was just coming off a loss against Manny Pacquaio in which we saw him out gunned and out bombed  hitting the canvas 6 times, but four of those times seemed only legal as he slipped twice in his corner and  managed to take the Philippine star the distance.

Tonight the Long island warrior threw caution to the wind as he engaged the British Star  and clobbered him with right hands and kept Amir very honest through out the fight.
Amir used his feet and speed to handle himself in portions of the bout where Algieri would connect and get Amir’s attention in many rounds.

If many people were upset for having paid $100 dollars for the fight of the century which turned out boring and unimpressive, well boxing fans were getting their money’s worth as they watched Khan and Algieri fight a sea saw battle with Khan imposing his speed and footwork as he worked combinations while Algieri who came to fight tonight did just that not giving in and saying you hit me OK, now i hit you with this.
A take this and take that, with both pugilists thinking and putting their punches together in fast combos had the crowd and many boxing aficionado’s scoring the fight very close.
We have  seen many highway robbery decisions in boxing and this night a draw or a hometown decision would not have been unjustified.

Chris Algieri fought a remarkable fight and silenced many critics including myself who thought maybe he was matched unfairly or incorrectly against the experienced British fighter.

One note that had to be considered that both corners had remarkable trainers.
Khan’s corner had Virgil Hunter an 2011 BWAA Trainer of the Year, and Algieri’s corner had changed from Tim Allen former kickboxing World Champion to John David Jackson former fighter who held the WBO junior middleweight tittle and WBA middleweight tittle.  The decision was to have a more experienced trainer and coach in Chri’s boxing approach to help Algieri in the mix of these big fights.
Although Tim Allen was still part of the team, it was coach Jackson’s command which showed how much more Chris was relaxed and an assertive fighter with dangerous opponent like Khan.

At the end of the day the scores read 115-113, 117-111 and 117-111 in favor of Khan.
Hard to believe the margin on the last two scores since it is this writer’s opinion that the fight was much closer than it appeared on paper.

Khan would receive the victory in the other boxer’s backyard and secured his argument that he should challenge Mayweather for a title. Many felt that his performance did not merit such a challenge. Speaking of challenge, Chris Algieri had to settle for a most gutty performance and the slap across many critic’s faces for doubting him and writing him off myself including.

The merit belongs to any man stepping in the ring to challenge each other and tonight even with a loss the winner in most of the fans hearts belonged to Chris ” The Fighting Collegian” Algieri who demonstrated with new addition to his team that he belongs in the ring with any Champion willing to take him on and offer him the most deserved opportunity due to his bravery, performance and commitment to the sport in which he remains an anomaly as a college educated Champion.