On June 14th, 2014, Chris Algieri defied expectations when he took on fearless banger, Ruslan Provodnikov. Algieri was given little hope of beating Russia’s WBO Junior Welterweight Champion, and even more so after he was knocked down twice in the 1st round.
Astoundingly, the 30-year-old New Yorker dusted himself off and boxed on to a Split Decision victory at the Barclays Center, New York – despite sporting a severely swollen, closing right eye. The outcome was reached via scores of 114-112, 114-112, and 109-117. BoxingBase.com had the bout for Algieri at 114-112.
The win was inspiring, to say the least. This was a very heavy underdog who fought on mostly blind, employed an impressive strategy, and ultimately dethroned the champion. There is already divided opinion over the legitimacy of the win, however, but it didn’t seem like there was any foul play or Mr Magoo’s on the judging panel.
Provodnikov did come forward relentlessly throughout, but it was Algieri who appeared to enjoy the greater success as he pumped out an effective jab and got to work on his counters. He moved well, fought a tactically good fight, and it seemed to bag him enough rounds to take away the win.
Provodnikov even commented post-fight that “runners” are his worst kind of opponent, and that he experienced problems due to Algieri’s style. How the word “runners” is interpreted matters little; Algieri’s game plan allowed him to find rhythm and fight effectively. (Provodnikov vs Algieri Boxing Highlights)
The victory catapults Algieri onto the big time boxing scene, lands him new-found recognition with the public, and will likely see him in with a big name in his next outing. There are even rumors of a Pacquiao vs Algieri bout materializing already. He clearly has the talent and heart to be a great fighter – how great, we will soon find out as he continues his career.
Algieri’s unbeaten record now improves to 20 wins, 8 knockouts, no losses, while Provodnikov’s falls to 23 wins, 16 knockouts, 3 losses. As for Provodnikov, the defeat will of course come as a setback – but given the excitement he generates in his performances, it’s likely he won’t have to climb too far before he will be offered another title shot.
Demetrius Andrade also fought on the night, beating Brian Rose in a far less competitive undercard contest. From the onset, Rose was outclassed and eventually succumbed to the accuracy and power of the WBO Junior Middleweight Champion. Rose was knocked down twice in the early rounds and saved from undue punishment by the referee. The end came at 1:19, at which time the scores read 60-52, 60-51, and 60-52.
How did you score Provodnikov vs Algieri? Did you agree with the bout’s outcome? And where does Algieri go from here?
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