By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19
Chris Algieri of Huntington, Long Island, will take on Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia on Saturday night at Barclays Center for the WBO Junior Welterweight Championship of the World.
Algieri is an Argnetine-American boxer who enters this fight with a perfect record of 19-0 with 8 knockouts as a pro. Algieri's last win came on February 14th in Huntington at the Paramount Theater when he won a 10-round unanimous decision over Emanuel Taylor.
Algieri won three fights in 2013, all of which occurred in Huntington. On February 23, 2013, he beat Jose Peralta Alejo in a 10-round unanimous decision. On July 20th, he won a 10-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Mike Arnaoutis. On September 14th, he beat Wilfredo Acuna when the fight was stopped in the seventh round due to an eye injury suffered by Acuna.
He graduated Stony Brook University in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Health Care Management and has aspirations to go to Medical School. While at Stony Brook, he focused on Full-Contact Kickboxing and that was when he began training with Tim "Bring the Pain" Lane, who is still his trainer.
Algieri said at Thursday's press conference, "First thing I would like to say is that it's truly an honor to be back at the Barclays Center. I would like to thank all the promoters involved in the show...I wold like to thank HBO for televising the fight and putting this together. It truly is a dream come true. The time for talking is pretty much over. Really, the hard work is done, it's time to go out there and fight. I'm sure Ruslan can agree with me on that. Time for talk is over. I am fully prepared to be here, this is a dream come true and we're ready to rock."
Ruslan Provodnikov, a native of Berezevo, Khanty-Mansi, Russia, enters this fight with a record of 23-2 with 16 KOs.
Provodnikov won the WBO Jr. Welterweight title with win over Mike Alvarado in Bloomfield, Colorado, on October 19, 2013. The fight was stopped in the 10th round when it was determined Alvarado had enough, especially after he was knocked down twice in the 8th round.
Before that, Provodnikov lost a tight unanimous decision to undefeated WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley in Carson, California, on March 16, 2013. It was a classic that earned the honor of BWAA "Fight of the Year." Provodnikov took it to Bradley early, and sent him to the canvas in the second round, but it was not ruled a knockdown. Bradley said he was soncussed from then on, but won the middle rounds. Provodnikov nearly pulled off the upset when he knocked Bradley down late. Bradley won the fight by scores of 115-112 and two judges ruled it 114-113.
Provodnikov said, speaking through an interpreter, of this fight at the press conference on Thursday afternoon, "I'm very happy to see Chris, he had a great training camp, looks great, no injuries, that's what's most important, glad the whole team is here. I don't want to talk too much today, everything I will say I will say in the ring on Saturday."
Tim Lane, Algieri's trainer, said, "Welcome to the Chris Algieri show! Chris is prepared, he's going to do what he has to do to win that belt on Saturday night."
Freddie Roach is Prvodnikov's trainer, and he took Lane's lead when he said, "Thank you and welcome to the Ruslan Provodnikov show," while giving Lane a knowing look. Roach is coming off a big win as he trained Miguel Cotto for his win last weekend over Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden. Roach also said on Thursday, "This is a big fight for us that we're looking forward to and I wish Chris the best of luck as well. This is going to be a great fight and the setting is perfect."
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