The Saturday, May 2, bout between superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is the most anticipated boxing match in years.
Nearly four weeks later, on Friday, May 29, Huntington resident Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 knockouts [KOs]), whose only professional boxing loss came against Pacquiao in November 2014, will look to reignite his career at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Algieri’s opponent on that evening will be Amir Khan (30-3-19 KOs) of Bolton, England, a former Pacquiao sparring partner who will be in Las Vegas on May 2, presumably rooting for Pacquiao to beat Mayweather, so as to set up a Khan-Pacquiao fight later this year, according to British newspaper The Daily Mail. Now, if only Khan and Pacquiao can beat Algieri and Mayweather respectively, they’ll be all set.
Despite getting a little ahead of himself, Khan is nonetheless an accomplished 28-year-old British fighter. He won a silver medal while only 17 years of age at the 2004 Summer Olympics before turning pro and enters the May 29 fight against Algieri after two impressive wins against former welterweight world champions Devon Alexander and Luis Collazo.
Promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, the 31-year-old Algieri rose to fame in June 2014 at Barclays Center when he upset Ruslan Provodnikov for a super lightweight world title. A former kickboxing champion, Algieri is known for his excellent movement and skill with the jab. Indeed, his victory over Provodnikov earned him a shot at Pacquiao, with Pacquiao prevailing last November in a unanimous decision in a contest that was televised on HBO Pay-Per-View. Algieri had previously defeated strong contenders, such as Mike Arnaoutis and Emanuel Taylor, prior to his breakthrough victory over Provodnikov.
“I am very excited to get back into the ring and to be fighting here in New York,” said Algieri. “Fighting at Barclays Center, where I won my world title just under a year ago, is an added bonus. Amir Khan is a tested champion and is the matchup that I wanted. I believe this is a fight that will bring the best out of me.”
The Algieri-Khan fight will be televised live on Friday, May 29, starting at 9 p.m., on cable’s Spike TV as part of its Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series. It is the evening’s main event. Viacom-owned Spike TV reaches millions of households nationally and the cable channel’s March 2015 PBC program drew about 869,000 viewers, according to Nielsen’s ratings. The May 29 Spike TV telecast will also show the face-off between Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) and Danny O’Connor (25-2, 9 KOs), who fights out of Framingham, MA. Khan beat Malignaggi when the two faced one another in 2010.
“Amir Khan is, hands-down, one of the biggest names in the sport. Coming off a huge win over Devon Alexander, Khan is on the short list to participate in a future mega fight. He must first get by the hometown fan favorite, Algieri,” stated Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, the fight’s co-promoter.
Tickets to the May 29 boxing matches are priced at anywhere from $45 to $250, per person, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.
Mike Barry, vice president of media relations for an insurance industry trade group, has worked in government and journalism.