Chris Algieri ready for next test in Emmanuel Taylor
Chris Algieri has heard it all before.
The undefeated junior welterweight from Huntington doesn't have the amateur background, the instincts or the requisite experience to become a championship boxer.
Fight after fight, Algieri has proved his doubters wrong. Once a champion kickboxer, Algieri used that experience to jump start his boxing career.
Algieri (18-0) will take another step toward achieving his goal of winning a world title when he fights Emmanuel Taylor (17-1) on Feb. 14 at the Paramount Theater in Huntington.
The Algieri-Taylor bout will be part of Star Boxing's Rockin' Fights 12 card, broadcast live on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.
Taylor, fourth in the latest IBF junior welterweight rankings, has been lauded for his stellar amateur career. A five-time Junior Golden Gloves champion and a three-time national PAL champ, Taylor finished his amateur career 186-26.
"I've heard it time and time before," Algieri said of not having an amateur background. "With everything I've done as a pro, I think I made up for it."
As a kickboxer, Algieri didn't wear head gear. Amateur boxers are required to wear head gear. Algieri said fighting without head protection helped him develop defensively.
"I've been fighting without head gear since I was 19," said Algieri, 29, a former International Sport Karate Association and World Kickboxing Association champion.
It wasn't just the background in kickboxing that has vaulted Algieri to his current status. He has worked with many of the world's best boxers and trainers.
"I always felt I was playing catch-up because I didn't fight in the amateurs," said Algieri, who trains with Keith Trimble at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy. "But I've worked with Brandon Rios, Marcos Maidana and Canelo Alvarez. That kind of work showed me where I was in my career."
Star Boxing promotions boss Joe DeGuardia expects a primetime effort from Algieri.
"This is an excellent nationally televised matchup of young, hungry junior welterweights with a lot to gain," said DeGuardia. "Chris has made the Paramount his home with his electrifying hometown performances. This will be his eighth fight in the venue, all wins and all sellouts."