By Andrew Wroblewski
Simply put, Chris Algieri is excited.
The Greenlawn native boxer is prepping for his 24th pro bout, this time a headliner against top-prospect Errol Spence Jr. slated for Saturday night at the Barclays Center.
“It’s exciting. It’s exciting to be back in the main event. It’s exciting to be back on a world stage,” Algieri said during a press conference last month.
Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) will enter the ring in Brooklyn for the fourth time in his career. The St. Anthony’s High School grad made a name for himself there in 2014 after defeating Ruslan Provodnikov to claim the WBO World super lightweight title; and most recently defeated Erick Bone in an undercard bout last December.
This time, Algieri’s 10-round welterweight fight will headline night of boxing set to be broadcast on NBC starting at 8:30 p.m. Also fighting is unbeaten world champ Krzysztof Glowacki against two-time world champ Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham; as well as pair of unbeaten in “Sir” Marcus Browne and Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic.
Algieri’s opponent, Spence has been described as a “young lion… [who] seems to be the toughest up and coming fighter that there is in the world today,” said Joe DeGuardia, president of Star Boxing, and Algieri’s promoter.
In a release, Spence said this is a “big fight” for him, “a step up” from the rest. But the Texas native vowed to “to rise to the occasion.”
“I'm going to handle him like I've handled all of my past opponents,” said Spence (19-0, 16 KOs), who was named ESPN.com’s 2015 “Prospect of the Year.”
During a media conference call, Algieri said there’s “no question the guy is good,” but warned that it’s a difficult task to rise from “prospect to contender.’
“Making those jumps is not easy for anyone in their career,” Algieri, 32, said. “And it’s just - you’ve got to be careful taking big leaps, and I do believe that myself and my team believe that this is a huge leap for the Spence camp.”
Regardless, Algieri added during the March press conference: “This is just another day in the office…. My job is to prepare, fight and to win.”
To see the fight live, tickets start at $25 (not including fees) and are available from Barclayscenter.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.