Chris Algieri and Tommy Coyle faced off in a title eliminator, at 140 pounds, in the first fight to screen on the DAZN Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz card at Madison Square Garden in NYC, on Saturday night.
Algieri (No. 5 WBO entering) had snagged a 140 belt, back in 2014, and had come back down to 140, after being a welter. We wondered if at age 35, the weight cut would be too draining. Coyle admitted he'd never assumed he'd be fighting on such a stage, with his skill set, but as a testament to persistence, the Brit had this chance to shine.
He had a chance, but not the weaponry; he hurt Algieri early, but then Chris got warmed up, and his skill set spoke louder. Body work by Chris proved damaging. After 8 rounds, the end came, after Coyle's corner pulled the plug.
Algieri post-fight, said that he wanted that stoppage, and planned this in camp. He admitted that if he brings this WBO international belt into a fight with Mo Hooker, he'd need to fight in a different style. But he said he's showed a range of skills and would be up for the task.
Algieri (23-3 with 8 KOs) was introed as “The Fighting Collegian” as he strode to the ring, next to trainer Andre Rozier. Coyle entered at 25-4 (12 KOs), at 29 years of age.
A right in round two hurt Algieri. Would Chris hit the deck? He shook off the cob webs and stayed aloft. He came in being more aggressive in the second after being stick and move in the first, maybe that was the wrong move. Replay showed a right counter after a slow jab landed bang on the chin.
In the third, Algieri came hard out of the gate. And in the fourth, Chris sent Coyle to the mat. Body shots were mean. The loser did get up…And he fought on, landing a right to the ear. Trainer Jamie Moore told Coyle to ram that right hand and show Algieri who is boss.
For the record, Coyle has been down more than 20 times…
In round five, Coyle edged forward, and yep, landed that right. In the sixth, crowd fave Coyle landed on Chris, who was back to the ropes. “Do not lay on the ropes for the rest of this fight,” Rozier said after the round, as enswell was applied to his swollen eyes.
To 7; Algieri was fully warmed up, showed a good energy reservoir. In the 8th, we saw Algieri's hooks landing, and though his eyes were swelling, he was dialed in. “He was punishing Tommy Coyle,” said Sergio Mora, in the analyst chair, next to Todd Grisham, after the Coyle corner told the ref they'd seen enough.