1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch fluted tube pan.
2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup almonds evenly in bottom of pan. Stir together dry cake mix, cocoa and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs, oil, almond extract and cherry pie filling; beat until well blended and cherries are chopped. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup almonds and chocolate chips; pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert cake onto wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 12 servings.