New York’s Chris Algieri looking for that hometown advantage against Tommy Coyle
Can the Huntington native get another win in front of family and friends on his way back to the top?
For years, Chris Algieri dominated the Long Island fighting scene. With nine fights and wins inside the Paramount in Huntington, NY, the 35-year-old knows what it is like to fight under pressure. He is looking to take his hometown experience and roll with it inside The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Making his official Madison Square Garden debut, Algieri (23-3) is set to defend his WBO International Junior Welterweight Title today (June 1st) against Tommy Coyle. While he has fought in the Hulu Theater before, Algieri has never had a chance to enter the hallowed halls of the one and only MSG.
This is huge, this is checklist stuff,” Algieri stated to Double G Sports. “There’s no bigger stage in the sport of boxing. Extremely happy to be here in front of family and friends in a truly historic building.”
Something that will be a constant when Algieri enters the ring is the love and support from family and friends from all over New York. He received that support when he won the WBO Junior Welterweight Title against Ruslan Providnikov inside the Barclays Center back in 2014. He had to vacate the belt to move in weight and the caliber of opponents he was facing. Algieri faced and lost to Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight bout. Trying again in welterweight, Algieri lost to Amir Khan before moving back to his natural weight.
When thinking about what drives him, The Paramount always comes back. He reflected on his time there while smiling ear to ear.
“The thing about the Paramount Theater is that it is such a familiar spot,” Algieri continued. “Every time I fought it sold out, the atmosphere was absolutely insane. That’s also a music venue, so the acoustics in there elevated everything going on. The deafening noise, the stomping on the floor, it was like walking into the Roman Colosseum. I’ve walked into the Barclays Center, I’ve been inside the Hulu Theater, they were never as loud as it felt when you walked inside The Paramount. I take great pride in my time there.”
A win over Coyle would help Algieri get one step closer to being the top fighter in his division. Holding the belt he never truly lost is dominant champion Maurice Hooker.
“I still feel like part of that belt is mine,” said Algieri. “That’s not to take anything away from the current champion Hooker, he earned it and he fought his ass off to get to the position that he’s in. I feel like I need another crack at that title because essentially part of it is me.”
With his mind on one opponent at a time, Algieri will keep it simple for now. Major comebacks are his mantra, and it is what New York is all about. If the old Algieri comes out to play, anything is possible in the boxing world.
Following tonight’s bout, Algieri may end up going to his old stomping grounds and picking up a nice slice of Little Vincent’s Pizza. He would be welcomed like a hero (and a hot cheese slice) with a win.
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