So far, Chris Algieri is 3-0 against Manny Pacquiao. The competition has had nothing to do with boxing, but for Algieri, a win is a win.
The Algieri-Pacquiao press tour began Aug. 25 in Macau, China, stopped in Shanghia and is slowly making its way to New York. While on the road, the fighters have participated in numerous press events. The most fun - at least from Algieri's perspective - was spending Friday at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. He and Pacquiao each threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Giants-Brewers game.
"When we got there, they told us we were going to have this little competition," Algieri said. "They took us on to the field for batting practice and they wanted to see who could hit the ball the furthest. I hadn't swung a baseball bat in about 10 years. But I won. I surprised myself. ... Then we played pool and did some bowling. It was a lot of fun. It helped that I won all three events."
Algieri challenges Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title in Macau on Nov. 22. It is one of boxing's biggest events of the year and the 30-year-old Huntington resident is soaking all of it in.
"It's been exciting," Algieri said. "Manny has been very gracious. The Asian fans have been very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. I was mobbed in Shanghai. One girl fainted, which was a first for me."
The 27,273-mile press tour is in Las Vegas this weekend and moves to Los Angeles for a news conference on Tuesday. It ends with a news conference in Manhattan on Thursday.
"Chris Algieri is one of the smartest and most affable fighters I have worked with," said Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum. "He knows he earned this shot and he reminds me of a modern-day Gene Tunney. He's collecting a lot of global fans from this tour and a lot of phone numbers from some beautiful women."
While it's been a whirlwind event for Algieri, he's anxious to get back into his routine.
"I'm looking forward to coming home," he said. "I'm looking forward to cooking my own meals and going back to my own gym. And I miss my family. I am looking forward to seeing them again."