By: William Holmes
For the second week in a row, HBO will be televising a championship card from the State of New York as Ruslan Provodnikov takes on Chris Algieri for Provodnikov’s WBO Junior Welterweight title and Demetrius Andrade takes on Brian Rose for Andrade’s WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
The Barclays Center will be the host site for Saturday’s card, which had an exclusive contract with Golden Boy Promotions but an exception was granted for Saturday. Banner Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing are the lead promoters for Saturday night.
The following is a preview of both televised bouts.
Demetrius Andrade (20-0) vs. Brian Rose (25-1-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade comes from a deep amateur background and represented the United States in the 2008 Olympics. He’s a former Silver medalist in the 2007 Pan American Games and won the Gold in the 2007 World Amateur Championships.
Brian Rose had success as an amateur in the national scene in England. He was a six time national champion, but he did not have the international success that Andrade has.
Andrade is three years younger and about one inch taller than Rose. He has thirteen stoppages to his record, including three of his past five fights. Rose is not known for his power. He has only stopped seven of his opponents, including two if his past five fights.
Andrade’s first real test came in his last professional bout against Vanes Martirosyan. He won by a split decision, but most observers felt he deserved the nod. Andrade’s other notable victories include Freddy Hernandez, Rudy Cisneros, Angel Hernandez, and Grady Brewer.
Rose has spent his entire professional career fighting in the United Kingdom. His notable victories include the faded Vivian Harris and Joachim Alcine. His lone loss came by TKO to an unheralded Max Maxwell in 2010.
This is merely a tune-up fight for Andrade against a European boxer with a paper thin record. If Andrade wants a big money fight, he’ll need to win impressively. An uninspiring victory over Rose could be just as damaging to his career as a shocking loss.
Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2) vs. Chris Algieri (19-0); WBO Junior Welterweight Title
It will be interesting to see if Provodnikov and Algieri can sell tickets in a major arena in Brooklyn, New York. Provodnikov will be looking to draw from the rabid Easter European fan base in New York while Algieri will be drawing from his hometown, nearby Huntington, New York.
Both Algieri and Provodnikov were first noticed on the national scene by fighting on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Both boxers are thirty-years-old, but Algieri will have a four-inch height advantage and a six-inch reach advantage.
Provodnikov, “The Siberian Rocky”, is known for his devastating power. He has stopped sixteen of his opponents, including four of his past five victories. Algieri is more known for being a technical and defensive boxer. He has only stopped eight of his opponents, and only one of his past five opponents have failed to make it to the final bell.
Provodnikov has the deeper amateur background, but Algieri has prior experience competing on the professional kickboxing circuit and is a former kickboxing welterweight champion. Provodnikov also has more experience fighting as a professional; he started in 2006 while Algieri didn’t start until 2008.
Provodnikov clearly has the faced the tougher opposition. His notable victories include a ten-round destruction of Mike Alvarado, and victories over Jose Reynoso, David Torres, DeMarcus Corley, Ivan Popoca, and Victor Castro. His two professional losses have come by close decision to Mauricio Herrera and a thrilling contest with Timothy Bradley, in which he came very close to stopping the American.
Provodnikov appears more than ready to give the fans another exciting contest. At the media workout held this week, Provodnikov stated, “If I have to die in the ring to win, that is what I will do. Is Algieri willing to do the same? He had better or he will not defeat me.”
Algieri has spent his entire career fighting in the state of New York and hasn’t fought outside of the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York, since 2011. He’s undefeated, but his only notable victories have come against Emmanuel Taylor and Mike Arnaoutis. Algieri is also going through some outside distractions, as he is currently being sued by his former manager.
The result of the main event on Saturday will hinge on whether or not Algieri can avoid the pressure and power shots of Ruslan Provodnikov. Even Algieri recognizes this. He recently stated, “Pressure has always made me step up to the competition. I am prepared I am in shape. Fight night, I am going to show who I really am. Ruslan has this great power in his punches, but if you can’t land them, the power really doesn’t matter.”
But this is a gigantic step up in competition for Algieri and it’s a step up that many do not feel he is ready for.