HBO Card Preview: Chris Algieri, A Winner in Court, Shall Decision Provodnikov
By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
Brooklyn, NY (June 13th, 2014)– Talk has been very cheap about the Friday evening Home Box Office main event bout between World boxing Organization World Welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov of Beryozovo, Russia, and Chris Algieri of Huntington, New York, at Barclays Center on Saturday, June 14, 2014. The experts and ring bloggers describe this fight as a fait accompli, with Provodnikov the killer dispatching the unknown and outmatched Algieri in a few rounds. Such chat has many people thinking the bout isn’t really a bout at all. That misconception, by emotional fight fans without the facts, will prove a major mistake.
Provodnikov, now 23-2, with 16 knockouts, lost to Mauricio Herrera of California, who recently fought Danny Garcia to a split decision, and will fight Johan Perez on July 12 at the MGM Grand for the interim WBA World Light Welterweight title. Provodnikov lost on a decision to Timothy Bradley, after emptying his guns in the final round and dropping Bradley but failing to put him away. Provodnikov fights with power shots for a round or two, then takes a round off. He has the power. Provoknikov’s problem is he cannot sustain a prolonged round by round power shot attack. This is NOT a fait accompli game plan for a win against a fighter like Algieri.
While acknowledging the wonderful things trainer Freddie Roach does with the talent he has, every fighter is different. Algieri represents a unique challenge for Roach. Algieri was an undefeated world kickboxing champion at 147 and 154 pounds. Algieri does not come from an amateur boxing background. Such a flaw has been exposed by such pretenders as Seth Mitchell, Mark Gastineau and Tye Fields. Algieri, however, comes from full contact Mixed Martial Arts, and has survived the test to obliterate the opposition. Algieri is both a power hitter and a superb technical boxer with both his hands and his feet. Algieri has decisioned nine boxers with winning records of technical prowess.
Provodnikov has won seven of nine decisions, losing at least 21 rounds in seven of those fights. Against Algieri, with Algieri’s solid chin, Provodnikov will lose the majority of rounds. Provodnikov cannot outbox Algieri in a draw out 12 rounder. At 40-0 between pro boxing and kickboxing, Algieri is a proven professional double world champion. Only American welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0) and Argentinian light welterweight boxer Cesar Rene Cuenca (47-0) have better records in the ring today.
Despite the best efforts of those who have sought to sabotage the HBO card, Algieri has remains undefeated after he won in New York State Supreme Court. On June 12, 2014, New York State Supreme Court justice Jeffrey Oing refused manager Humberto Romero’s request to stop Algieri’s WBO World Welterweight title challenge against Provodnikov at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday June 14, 2014. Romero tried to get an injunction to stop the fight, claiming Algieri had to be stopped as Algieri broke contract, and owed Romero manager’s fees of nearly a million dollars for working with him the past three years.
Romero also claimed he was entitled to 16 percent of all Algieri’s boxing purses as per the terms of his managerial contract with him, including 16 percent of his $250,000 purse for fighting Provodnikov on HBO, plus 20 percent of all endorsements, business deals and personal appearances.Algieri’s court papers replied he had broken the contract with Romero because he felt his manager was not doing enough to promote him. Algieri’s contract with Romero, he stated in court papers, was officially voided by the New York State Athletic Commission. The judge stated Romero could gone to court a year earlier when Algieri fought two matches, but he did nothing.
Algieri remains undistracted by the court proceedings, and is clearly focused on the task at hand. The prediction is Algieri by 12 round unanimous decision in a bout outcome which should not be considered an upset. For those fight fans who have stars in their eyes for Provodnikov, other fight fans have had stars in their eyes for the likes of Alfredo Angulo to Adrien Broner. Algeri’s MMA background and his success there more than justify why he should be favored in this bout. Provodnikov will go headhunting to try to take Algieri out. When this fails, he will try to outbox Algieri, but by that point the fight will have been lost on points, so it will be too late.
A couple of knockdowns by both fighters are entirely possible, and could affect the scoring in a close bout if Provodnikov wages a better than expected technical fight. This bout will be won on the game plan.
On the undercard, Rhode Island’s Demitrius Andrade is favored by unanimous 12 round decision over Blackpool, England’s Brian ‘The Lion’ Rose in defense of his WBO World Light Middleweight title. Long Beach, New York’s Irish Sean Mongahan is favored by ten round unanimous decision over Kosovo’s aging Elvir Muriqi in a WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight defense. Muriqi is a most skilled experienced veteran, but five times he has failed to win ‘the big one’ and as such falls short of the mark at the ‘A’ level.
Middleweight Simeon’ Candyman’ Hardy of Guyanaa, 12-0, is favored to win by late round stoppage over Malcolm Terry in a six rounder. Light middleweight Chris Galeano is favored over Malik Jackson in a four rounder. Russian Lightweight Fedor Papazov fights Mexican Miguel Delgado is an even eight round matchup too close to call. Heather Hardy will beat Jackie Trivilino in an eight round super bantamweight affair by close decision. Welterweight Treysean Wiggins is also scheduled to appear in the opening bout on the card.