The business of boxing is fought inside the ring against opponents with bad intentions and outside the ring with promoters, managers and fighters all scrapping for a fair share of the pie.
Welterweight Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) faces a tough battle against fast-rising prospect Errol Spence (19-0, 16 KOs) in the main event of Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC card at Barclays Center, but he’s also been involved in a financial dispute with Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia that has run on a parallel track the past two months.
The danger of the finances distracting Algieri from the fisticuffs is real, but the fighter from Greenlawn assured at the final news conference Wednesday in Manhattan that he has it all under control. “Once I cross the threshold with the training, that’s all that matters,” Algieri said. “That (business) is something we can deal with on Monday.
“Being a pro, you have to be able to compartmentalize things, and I think I’ve been doing really well with that. I’m not fighting for the money. I like to fight. I have to be a dog when it comes to negotiating, but once it’s over, that managerial portion of my brain goes out.”
As reported Sunday in Newsday, Algieri knows the exact purse he’s receiving, but he doesn’t know the total amount of money DeGuardia is receiving from PBC or the percentage split between them. Under the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, Algieri is entitled to that knowledge, but the law only specifies the details must be divulged before anyone can be paid.
As he has done in the past, DeGuardia said he will provide that information to Algieri at Friday’s weigh-in. “I asked for it two months ago,” Algieri said. “I don’t understand why he wouldn’t give me that information when I asked for it then. It just seems fishy to me . . . I’m not trying to look in his pocket, but it comes down to fairness.”
Algieri said the lack of a requirement under the Ali Act for the promoter to divulge at the outset of negotiations the entire amount of the pot is a “systemic flaw.” But he brushed aside questions about whether he plans to file a complaint with the New York State Athletic Commission or try to break his contract with DeGuardia.
“Right now, I’m fighting Errol Spence on Saturday,” Algieri said. “I’ll focus on everything else after that.”
Algieri had better focus on Spence, who is in line for a shot at IBF champion Kell Brooks with a victory. Spence’s record suggests real knockout power, but Algieri disagrees.
“He is not the killer they’re saying he is when he has to deal with a little bit of adversity,” Algieri said. “It should be interesting to see what happens when he has a lot of adversity in front of him.”