At the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, Spence Jr vs Algieri held plenty of fireworks, but were produced by the Welterweight division’s fastest climber. Chris Algieri was the acid test we’ve all seen advertised; it just so happens he was no match for a highly aggressive, superior operator like Errol Spence Jr. Algieri was knocked down three times during the night’s main event, with the referee halting the action in the 5th. For what it’s worth, BB had it 40-35 going into the show closer.
After a cagey opener, Spence turned up the heat and gave Algieri fits for the remainder of the fight, punishing him with full-blooded, often unanswered combinations, and generally bulldozing an overwhelmed and overmatched opponent. Algieri, who quickly developed a swollen right eye, was knocked down off a monster left hook in the 4th, but demonstrated his excellent recovery powers by climbing up off the deck. Algieri survived the round but, really, there was no way he was ever going to stave off Spence’s assaults or somehow survive to the final bell as he did against Manny Pacquiao in 2014.
Shortly after the 5th began, Algieri was dropped off a straight left while in retreat, and for the third and final time off another left hook. The tough New Yorker could have likely continued, but the referee quite rightly waved off the count before the violence escalated any further. Errol Spence Jr now bulks his perfect record to 20 wins, no defeats, 17 knockouts, while Algieri picks up his first stoppage loss, falling to 21 wins, 3 defeats, 8 knockouts.
So what’s next for Spence? Well, hopefully sterner tests and bigger stages. I think we can all agree he’s pretty special and that there’s no need to pump the brakes as far as the threat level is concerned. We’ll just have to sit tight and see what’s in store for the 26-year-old over the course of 2016. The guy is in the PBC/Al Haymon stable, so it shouldn’t be too long before he starts dicing with the top players at 147 pounds. Boxing politics and all that jazz permitting, of course.
Spence Jr vs Algieri Undercard
Krzysztof Glowacki vs Steve Cunningham
Glowacki vs Cunningham was dogged by a fair few boxing fans prior to their Cruiserweight meeting. But you know what? This was actually a pretty solid Spence Jr vs Algieri appetizer. Steve Cunningham, who had been fighting (out of his depth) at Heavyweight for quite some time, looked pretty sharp back down at Cruiser tonight. The aging veteran performed well, making WBO champ Glowacki work hard for 12 rounds.
Final scorecards came in 116-108 and 115-109 twice, while BB saw the action a little closer at 115-110.
Cunningham had enough in his repertoire to hang with Glowacki, but over-eagerness and sloppy defense at times cost him a fair few knockdowns along the way. Not that we should criticise Cunningham for these weaknesses; let’s remember that Cunningham was labelled a mere ‘stay-busy-opponent’ long before the first bell.
Glowacki sent Cunningham to the canvas four times in total, twice in the 2nd, once in the 10th, and once again in the 12th. Glowacki has his left hand – even a stiff jab in the 10th – to thank, and Cunningham his otherworldly recovery powers. Krzysztof Glowacki leaves with his WBO strap and unbeaten record intact, now standing at 26 wins with 16 knockouts. Cunningham now reduces to 28 wins, 8 defeats, 1 draw, 13 knockouts.
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