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Algieri’s Knocking on the Door

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By Allan Scotto


“The Pride of Huntington,” Chris Algieri is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the light welterweight division and he took a giant step forward with a decisive victory over Mike Arnaoutis on Saturday July 20th at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York.
 
Algieri has packed the Paramount on a number of occasions and not since the heyday of another of Huntington’s favorite son, Gerry Cooney, has a Long Island fighter caused such a stir.
 
It’s really quite a sight to see on a night when Algieri is fighting. The restaurants are packed; the stores are packed and ultimately, the Paramount is standing room only. And July 20th was no exception.

Algieri came into this fight with a record of 16-0 (7) and although he beat some very good fighters, none had the name recognition of “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis. And even though Arnaoutis has lost to Danny Garcia, Victor Ortiz, Kendall Holt and Demetrius Hopkins, those fights allowed him to bring a level of experience into the ring that Algieri had not yet seen. Some wondered if Algieri was ready for that level of competition.
 
That question was answered in the second round when Arnaoutis landed a looping left hand that seemed to rock Algieri back on his heels. Sensing he had Algieri hurt, Arnaoutis began to unload a truckload of hooks and uppercuts but Algieri held his composure and cleverly avoided Arnaoutis’ wide shots while landing a few counters of his own.
 
In round three Algieri began to use his reach advantage to establish his jab while Arnaoutis loaded up on power shots trying to catch Algieri again.  That didn’t happen and in round four, Algieri landed a right uppercut that left “Mighty” Mike’s nose bleeding badly for the rest of the fight.
 
From round five on, Algieri kicked it in to high gear as the bleeding Arnaoutis began slowing down. Algieri kept his jab pumping and countered Arnaoutis often with hard left hooks. As the fight entered the later rounds, one could see Arnaoutis was trying to land that one punch that would turn the fight around or take out the “Pride of Huntington.”
 
But that punch didn’t come and near the end of round seven, Algieri landed a devastating left hook that opened a cut on the right eye of “Mighty Mike,” which immediately started pouring blood.
 
Round eight saw Algieri target Arnaoutis’ eye with jabs and left hooks and they seemed to be bothering him quite a bit as he continually pawed at it. Before the start of round nine, confusion broke out in the corner of Arnaoutis as the referee, the doctor and Team Arnaoutis seemed to be arguing, probably over whether or not to let Arnaoutis continue.
 
But he did continue and Algieri also continued to target the cut, which was now spurting blood.
 
Round 10 was more of the same and Algieri won by the scores of 99-91 and 98-92 (twice), bringing his record to 17-0 (7).
 
Beating Arnaoutis was a giant leap forward for Algieri and he put himself in the company of some higher caliber fighters by doing so as he continues his quest for a world title. The big question is, after seeing how Algieri dismantled Arnaoutis, which of those fighters will now step up to try to stop him?
 
Allan Scotto can be reached at boxingriter@aol.com.
 
 
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