Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
BOXING RECORDS & ODDS:
Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) (-525) VS Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs) (+375)
Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) VS Brian “The Lion” Rose (25-1-1, 7 KOs)
Provodnikov VS Algieri PREVIEW:
It may not be the fight that he wanted, but Ruslan Provodnikov better be prepared for his bout against Chris Algieri, an undefeated fighter who has yet to to challenged. Granted, Algieri’s 19 wins have not come against household names, but that’s what makes him so much more dangerous. Unknown, but also undefeated.
Provodnikov had been hoping for a big name fight against someone like Marquez, Rios, or even Pacquiao. The Pacquiao fight won’t happen because they share the same trainer, and are already pals. Neither would want to face the other in the ring.
A reason for why Provodnikov won’t be able to face a marquee name could be his battering of Timothy Bradley (despite losing) scared away some big names. His 10th round knockout against Mike Alvarado certainly solidified himself as capable bruiser, but perhaps too much so: I reckon that bigger names are going to avoid Ruslan because he is in that ornery position of being a very good fighter but not a big enough name to be worth the risk of losing.
Provodnikov even expressed public disappointment in having to face Algieri. “I am very, very disappointed about that…For me, the best option for my next fight, considering that Bradley is fighting Pacquiao again, it would have been Marquez. Also, Brandon Rios. I really wanted that fight (with Rios) if it wasn’t going to be Marquez.”
Ruslan Provodnikov Profile
There is a reason why boxers are afraid of Ruslan Provodnikov. He knows how to hit, and has improved dramatically under the recent tutelage of Freddie Roach. With a 70% KO rate, Provodnikov definitely scares opponents, and has legitimate punching ability. There are some, however, who question his recently anointed status as an underrated knockout king, especially considering that he is 1-1 in his last two fights. Still, the 12 round Bradley fight was contested, and Provodnikov really showed off some strength. And, we all know how the Alvarado fight turned out, and cemented fear in the eyes of many who were looking at Provodnikov. Provodnikov definitely has a lot more heart than your average fighter, and his modest approach is what has made him loved by many so quickly.
Algieri represents an interesting case: he is a former kickboxer who used to take kicks to the face. One has to wonder what that means as a pure boxer now, with his experience in developing the ability to take hits from one of four weapons: 2 hands and legs. Algieri is unlike any fighter that Provodnikov might have faced prior, and brings a compelling and diverse set of skills to the table. Also, Algieri stands at 5’11 compared to Provodnikov’s 5’6, and in the past has typically gained 10-15 lb after weigh-ins. As a two time kickboxing champion, Algieri has shown the ability to take hits. The question is, will he be able to handle Provodnikov’s proven punching prowess?
Logic, history, and emotion all dictate that Provodnikov should take this bout in a rather solid victory. He has fought big time fighters and done more than hold his own. Algieri is a no-name fighter with a thin boxing resume, but offers an interesting history as a kickboxing champion. I would say that Algieri’s experience with taking hits from all over give him a decent punchers chance at outlasting Provodnikov, but Provodnikov’s already-proven ability is what gives him the edge here.
Provodnikov KO’s Algieri in the 10th round.