By Tyson Bruce
Brooklyn, New York- Boxing again proved to be the theatre of the unexpected when the little known Chris Algieri shocked the boxing world by courageously out-boxing Ruslan Provodnikov– possibly the most feared man in boxing.
The first round began the way most people thought the fight would go when Provodnikov, 23-3-0-(16 ko’s), hunted down the fleet footed Algieri and dropped him with a booming left hook. Almost instantly Algieri’s right eye began to swell shut. Moments later Algieri, 20-0-0-(9 ko’s), voluntarily took a knee in an attempt to escape the pressure.
Despite the 10-7 round, effectively putting him three rounds behind, Algieri never lost his nerve and boxed a highly effective second round. The pattern of the fight consisted of Provodnikov crudely pressuring and Algieri using his dynamic athleticism and sharp jab to keep him at bay.
After the fourth round Algieri seemed to have Provodnikov’s style solved and began winning the majority of the rounds with his boxing skills. Provodnikov continued to land the harder punches but his lack of craft and ability to problem solve in the ring was shockingly exposed.
Watching Algieri come into the ring as a virtual unknown and leave with the crowed chanting his name in approval was a truly special experience. That Algieri was able to come from behind while being blind in one eye for virtually the entire fight was simply incredible.
The bout was extremely difficult to score. A lot of it depended on whether you preferred the smooth, clean boxing skills of Algieri or the more hurtful punches of Provodnikov. Scores on press row were literally all over the map. Algieri, however, held tactical control of the bout and the occasional monster shot from Ruslan just wasn’t enough to win him the majority of the rounds.
In a rare display of competency two of the judges managed to recognize his effort scoring the bout 114-112 Algieri, while the other turned in a comical 117-109 score for Prodvodnikov. Rematch anyone?
Demetrius Andrade showed that he is a force to be reckoned with in the junior middleweight division by giving the hopelessly outclassed Brian Rose a merciless pasting for seven rounds.
Andrade, 21-0-0-(14 ko’s), announced his presence right away by dropping Rose with a lightning quick straight left hand. Almost immediately it was plainly evident that Ross did not have the hand-speed or punching power to compete with the more talented Andrade.
Things only continued to get worse for Rose, 25-2-1-(7 ko’s), as he got dropped again in the third round by a counter right hook. Rose spent most of the fight desperately trying to cover up and occasionally flinging a counter shot that almost always missed the mark.
The end would come in the seventh round when Andrade stopped looking for the one punch finish and really started to put his combinations together. Rose was bleeding badly from a cut on the bridge of the nose and his flanks were badly reddened and bruised. The bout was mercifully waved off at 1:19 of the seventh round.
The real question boxing fans should be asking themselves is why Andrade was forced to fight Rose? How in the world Rose was the WBO’s mandatory challenger is anybody’s guess. Hopefully Andrade, who looked sensational, will get a more worthy opponent next time around.