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Chris Algieri wins unanimous decision over Danny Gonzalez for WBO title

Chris Algieri and his team celebrate after defeating Angel Hernandez on Nov. 30, 2018, in the Paramount. Credit: Anna Sergeeva

Chris Algieri had sparred in the ring plenty of times with Danny Gonzalez because they’re stablemates with Star Boxing. Now Algieri was in the ring with him again, only this time it was for real — a 140-pound fight Friday night inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The vacant WBO international super lightweight belt was at stake. When the bout was over, the fans on hand and those watching on DAZN knew Gonzalez had put up a good fight. The ring announcer revealed the scorecards: 98-92, 97-93, 96-94.

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Chris Algieri had sparred in the ring plenty of times with Danny Gonzalez because they’re stablemates with Star Boxing. Now Algieri was in the ring with him again, only this time it was for real — a 140-pound fight Friday night inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The vacant WBO international super lightweight belt was at stake. When the bout was over, the fans on hand and those watching on DAZN knew Gonzalez had put up a good fight. The ring announcer revealed the scorecards: 98-92, 97-93, 96-94.

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Unanimous decision.

For Algieri.

He was interviewed in the ring. Boos began to spill from the seats. Some clearly thought Gonzalez won. Algieri knew he was unimpressive.

“I am my biggest critic and this performance wasn’t my best,” Algieri said. “I got the win, I am moving on...But honestly, I felt a little off today, but it is what it is. You go back to the drawing board and look to come back better.”

This marked the 34-year-old former WBO super lightweight champ’s second fight after a layoff of more than two and a half years thanks to a knee injury and a promotional dispute. The first fight also ended with him winning unanimously after 10 rounds. He’s now 23-3 — still unbeaten at 140 pounds.

Maurice Hooker has his old belt. Algieri wants it back.

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“The thing is I can turn it up when I need to,” Algieri said. “I’ve always been that guy who can prepare properly and pull off the unexpected. And that’s where we are looking to go from here.”

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Algieri, a Greenlawn resident, won the first six rounds on two cards. But he never hurt Gonzalez. Algieri accidently got hurt in the seventh.

After an aggressive round by Gonzalez, Algieri’s corner worked on swelling in his left eyelid and a small cut, bruising and swelling below the eye. Gonzalez’s aggression continued the next two rounds.

“It wasn’t that I was tired,” Algieri said. “It was that everything that was happening led to a clash of heads and the eye was getting worse and worse.”

Algieri came out strong in the final round. Then Gonzalez picked it up again. But the 29-year-old fighter from Queens fell to 17-2-1.

“First and foremost, we need a longer camp,” Algieri said. “We have had two back-to-back fights in seven weeks. Coming off a camp with Daniel Jacobs, we need camps where we are focused on Chris Algieri.”

Smith Jr. to have title fight

Mastic’s Joe Smith Jr. will fight undefeated WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol March 9 at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona.

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“This is a huge opportunity for me,” Smith said. “I am going to take full advantage.”