By: Hans Themistode
Stepping into the ring had become somewhat foreign territory for Chris Algieri. The former 140-pound titlist spent the past 26 months on the sidelines. With a chance to place his name back amongst the upper echelon of the 140-pound division, Algieri didn’t disappoint.
Despite being absent from the ring for a protracted amount of time, Algieri looked sharp as he took on fringe contender Mikkel LesPierre. The two faced off in the co-main event at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
It was a strong opening round for the Long Island native. His primary weapon of choice in the first few minutes was a strong jab. LesPierre consistently saw his head snap back and had little to no answer. As the round went on, Algieri proved to be elusive as well, bouncing on his toes and avoiding the onslaught of his opponent.
The following round was much of the same. Algieri boxed and moved while using a steady jab, while LesPierre, on the other hand, attempted to cut off the ring and land something of note. The Brooklyn, New York native found himself consistently on the wrong end of Algieri’s punches and his face began wearing the damage by the midway point of their contest.
As Algieri continued to bank the rounds, he stepped up his aggression in the second half. In the ninth round, in particular, Algieri landed a right hand that sent LesPierre into the ropes. The fringe contender stood his ground and covered up as Algieri began teeing off.
With only the championship rounds remaining, LesPierre attempted to up his aggression. Trailing by a significant margin at this point, LesPierre gave it everything he had in the tenth. At times, he found moments of success. At the midway point of the round, the Brooklyn product landed a flush one-two combination, his cleanest of the night.
Regardless of the shot, Algieri shook his head and appeared to mutter “nope” under his breath. From there, the former WBO 140 pound titlist went on the attack, peppering his man with shots as he languished helplessly on the ropes.
While Algieri attempted to close the show, LesPierre showed just enough grit and toughness to last until the final bell. With that said, his toughness wasn’t rewarded as he lost by a wide margin on the night.
Judge Steve Weisfeld and Robin Taylor scored it identically, 100-90 in favor of Algieri. Ron Lipton, the remaining ringside judge, scored only one round in favor of LesPierre as he also handed Algieri the victory.