After a disappointing performance last November against Manny Pacquiao, Chris Algieri knew things had to change. He parted ways with trainer Tim Lane, infamous for his "let him out the cage" banter during that fight, including a bit where he was speaking with HBO's Max Kellerman and predicting an Algieri KO win just as Pacquiao dropped his fighter, and has taken up with John David Jackson, a former contender who has helped guide Sergey Kovalev to his rise to stardom.
Algieri (20-1, 8 KO) says it's not just about change, though, as he approaches a May 29 fight with Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KO), it's about getting back to what got him the Pacquiao fight in the first place.
"Now that I'm working with John David Jackson, there are things he's cultivating that we think are going to be pretty surprising. ... I have to get back to using my jab. That was a big strategic mistake to stay away from the jab because Pacquiao was so good at countering the jab."
The 31-year-old Huntington, New York, fighter will go into the bout with Khan, 28, as a major underdog, and the matchup itself has caught plenty of flak from fans and boxing media, not so much because Algieri is a bad opponent, but because on paper, this appears to be the sort of matchup where Khan won't face any real resistance. In the "styles make fights" sense, this style matchup appears to favor Khan all the way.
Algieri says he'll let himself out the cage behind the jab:
"If I keep the jab pumping like when I'm at my best, the combinations will flow freely. I'm still being smart, but I'm definitely letting my hands go, pushing the pace. Aggression is going to be a big part of this fight."
What's your take on this matchup now that we're closer to fight night? Has Algieri shown anything that you suspect can really trouble Khan? Do you think he can adapt his game and show something new that Khan isn't expecting?