By: Sean Crose
“Realistically weighing one’s abilities against one’s opponent’s abilities is not an easy thing to do. There is a fine line between self-confidence and wishful thinking; and opponents are usually very good about letting you know when that line is crossed.” This rather unique statement appeared on Chris Algieri’s Instagram page just days after it was announced the former WBO Junior Welterweight titlist would be facing notable up and comer Conor Benn on December 11th in Liverpool. If anything, Algieri’s nearly cryptic quote seems to indicate that he’ll approach the battle with Benn with laser like focus on both his and Benn’s strengths and weaknesses.
Yet it will take more than focus for the 25-3 Algieri to best the powerful Benn. Posting a record of 19-0, the Englishman has knocked out all but seven of his opponents. At 25 years old, Benn also has well over a five year age advantage over the 37 year old Algieri. On top of all that, Ben has fought twice this year already, having bested Samuel Vargas and Adrian Granados respectively. Algieri, on the other hand, has fought only once in the past two-plus years. His last battle was a victory over Mikkel LesPierre in August.
On the other hand, Algieri has vastly more experience than Benn, who has not yet fought 20 times. In his 28 fight career, Algieri has faced the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence, Amir Khan, and Ruslan Provodnikov. Although he has lost most of his major battles, there is little doubt that the tall, slick New Yorker at his best performs at a level close to the top of the game. In truth, unless he has aged enough to have had his skill set dulled, Algieri will be the biggest challenge Benn has met in the ring.
“To headline in a city like Liverpool you need to be in the ring against a world class operator,” Benn says respectfully. “Chris has done it all, a former world champion and exactly the opponent I need to gain experience from.” Like Benn, Algieri appears excited about the upcoming match. “This has a big fight feel to it and I’m thrilled to be back on this type of stage,” he says. “The UK has brilliant fans and I’m looking forward to performing in front of those legendary crowds.”
The bout looks at the very least to be an interesting matchup.