Algieri shocks Provodnikov!
Ringside Report by: Matt Richardson
Photos by: Peter Frutkoff
Well, not too many people saw that coming.
In what is undoubtedly going to go down as one of the bigger upsets in boxing for 2014, local junior welterweight Chris Algieri earned the victory of a lifetime on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York when he defeated WBO titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov by 12-round split decision.
Scores for the contest were all over the board. Two tallies of 114-112 for Algieri overruled a wide 117-109 score for the defending Provodnikov.
It was an exciting yet tricky fight to score; one of those fights where if you liked boxing, you thought Algieri won. If you liked aggression, you scored it for Provodnikov.
Still, it was a good fight in which both men fought courageously, particularly Algieri who fought thru a completely swollen right eye (for much of the contest) that even he admitted, by the final round, left him “blind.”
The 6,218 fans in attendance certainly got their money’s worth, although it first appeared there wouldn’t be much of a fight at all.
A left hook put Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) down in the first round. He quickly got up and nodded to imply he was OK but he began squinting right after. Seconds later, he went down again on a left and Provodnikov landed a right to the body while he was taking a knee. Algieri got up one more time but had bad swelling under his right eye at the end of the round.
“I had a slow start but I found my rhythm,” Algieri said afterward.
Algieri tried to box more from the outside in the second and third frames as Provodnikov stalked his opponent. Algieri landed a big uppercut toward the end of the second and scored well with flush rights in the third but by the fourth his right eye was almost completely swollen shut, the result of big left hooks from the forward marching Provodnikov.
Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs), fighting for the first time since defeating Mike Alvarado for the belt last October, never stopped coming forward. He had difficulty cutting the ring off, though, and was outboxed in many stretches of the fight.
Algieri continued to box well in the second half of the fight but would often get caught with big shots himself, particularly in the fifth when Provodnikov connected with a big left in the final five seconds. Algieri got back moving in the sixth, however, and he snapped Provodnikov’s head back with combinations and by the championship rounds he was boxing beautifully, despite the grotesque swelling on the right side of his face.
“I feel great,” Algieri stated after the fight. “His shots in the first four rounds were few and far between but they were powerful. I showed the boxing world who Chris Algieri is.”
Provodnikov, who would go on to complain at the post-fight press conference that the fight should have been stopped due to the injury and that Algieri ran from him, was much more concise in the moments after the fight concluded.
“I congratulate Chris Algieri and I have nothing more to say,” he said.
Expect much more to be said, however, in the following days, weeks and months as a rematch would appear to be inevitable.
Andrade destroys Rose
WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade easily defeated Brian Rose in the co-featured fight of the night. Andrade, making the first defense of the belt he won last November, won almost every second of every round before Rose’s corner stopped the fight at the 1:19 mark of the seventh round. It was the type of fight Andrade needed to dominate to make a statement and he did just that.
The fight almost ended immediately after it began as southpaw Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs) dropped Rose in the first round with a right and a quick left down the middle. Rose, well, rose to his feet but didn’t look completely recuperated.
He was down again two rounds later, this time after getting hit with a right hook. Andrade connected with a big left to the head after Rose got up but couldn’t put him down again. The title-holder continued to apply pressure, though, and he busted Rose up in the seventh as he opened a cut on the challenger’s nose. Bleeding and beaten, the Brit’s corner wisely elected to throw in the towel before their man could hit the canvas for a third time. At the time of the stoppage all three judges had Andrade winning a shutout with the same score across the boards: 60-52.
“I earned my right to be here,” Rose (25-2-1, 7 KOs) argued afterward. “Andrade was better than I thought he’d be. I just couldn’t keep up with him or keep him off of me.”
Monaghan dominates Muriqui!
Undefeated light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan of Long Beach New York pounded faded former contender Elvir Muriqui over ten lopsided rounds. Two judges submitted scores of 99-90 while a third tallied the fight 98-91, all for Monaghan (22-0, 14 KOs). The 35-year-old Muriqui (40-7, 24 KOs), coming off a one-sided decision loss to future title challenger Blake Caparello earlier this year, had nothing to offer beside an ability to take punches to the head without getting knocked out. Monaghan dominated the first half of the fight while Muriqui did better down the stretch, although that was largely due to cuts sustained by Monaghan over both eyes.
Monaghan, looking more polished than usual, was in command from the beginning. Muriqui absorbed a lot of punishment in the third round as Monaghan broke thru his guard with flush uppercuts. Muriqui continued to absorb a series of punches to the head in the fourth and was knocked onto the seat of his pants after Monaghan ducked a counterpunch and then dropped Muriqui with a wide right hook. Muriqui looked decent as he rose but Monaghan couldn’t capitalize as the bell rang during the mandatory eight-count. Muriqui fought better in the final two rounds as cuts on Monaghan’s eyelids hampered his ability to fight but by that point, the scoring was inconsequential. Muriqui was looking for a miracle that never presented itself.
Papazov TKOs Mendoza in three!
Russian junior welterweight Fedor Papazov knocked out Miguel Angel Mendoza in the third round of a scheduled eight. Mendoza fought well for the first two rounds and frequently got the better of the exchanges. That all changed in the third, however, after a huge right deposited him on the seat of his pants. He rose on unsteady legs and with a bloody nose, prompting his corner to throw in the towel just 36 seconds into the round. Papazov is now 15-1 with 10 KOs; Mendoza is 21-4-2 with 21 KOs.
Hardy survives a war
Female featherweight Heather Hardy was bruised, banged up and bloodied but still managed to get past Jackie Trivilino (barely) before winning a seventh round technical decision after Hardy was cut in the second round via accidental head butt. Hardy (10-0, 2 KOs) had a lot of difficulty keeping the aggressive Trivilino off of her throughout the fight. She seemed to get stunned on more than one occasion and was hurt briefly after absorbing a big right in the third. Trivilino (9-8-3, 1 KO) just continued to charge forward, throwing punches to the body and head. Once the cut over Hardy’s right eye worsened, however, a halt was called at the end of the seventh to go to the scorecards. One judge had Trivilino up 67-66 but that was overruled by scores of 68-65 and 67-66 for Hardy. The scores in favor of the Brooklyn-based Hardy were heavily booed by a crowd that seemed to think Trivilino pulled it out.
Galeano vs. Johnson entertains the crowd
In a sloppy but entertaining middleweight bout, Bronx middleweight Chris Galeano defeated Malik Johnson by four round unanimous decision. Judges scores were 40-36 and 39-37 (twice) all for the unbeaten Galeano (4-0). Jackson (0-3-3) tried hard and was winging wild shots until the end but he was never able to sustain anything offensively significant. Galeano easily avoided his punches while along the ropes, although both men engaged in frequent exchanges to the crowds delight.
Hardy quickly bulldozes Terry
In the opening fight of the night, hard punching junior middleweight Simeon Hardy made quick work of Malcolm Terry, stopping him in the second round of a scheduled six. Hardy (13-0, 10 KOs) dropped Terry twice, the second time on his face, before a halt was called at the 1:02 mark of the second. Terry, who has never beaten an opponent with a winning record, has now lost two consecutively for an overall ledger of 6-2 with all of his victories via stoppage.
E-mail Matt at boxingwriter@AOL.com or follow him on Twitter @MRichardson713