Chris Algieri shocked the boxing world on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, overcoming two knockdowns in Round 1 and a grotesquely swollen right eye to unseat Ruslan Provodnikov and capture the WBO Junior Welterweight Championship.
Scores were 114-112 twice for Algieri and 117-109 for Provodnikov.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 114-112 for Provodnikov.
Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) was dropped twice in the opening frame, and he immediately seemed out of his depth. But he rallied, using head and foot movement to frustrate the Siberian slugger in many of the rounds.
Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KO) clearly landed the harder punches throughout the fight. He swelled Algieri’s right eye to the point of closing, but seemed to have increasing trouble landing cleanly as the fight wore on.
In the end it came down to a question of power versus activity. Provodnikov was the more powerful fighter, but Algieri outlanded him in one of the gutsiest performances you'll ever see.
Controversy is sure to follow, but that shouldn’t diminish what was a remarkable—whether you felt he won or not—performance by a local fighter who was given little chance of being competitive, much less winning the fight.
In the co-featured bout of the telecast, WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade put on a clinic, outclassing and stopping mandatory challenger Brian Rose in Round 7.
Andrade (21-0, 14 KO) was a level above his British challenger, using a huge advantage in hand speed to pepper him with left hands at will. The champion was in total command from the opening bell until the end of the fight, and he never seemed to have any difficulty.
Rose (25-2-1, 7 KO) was dropped in Round 1, catching a left hand while off balance that sent him to the mat. It was something of a flash knockdown, but the right hand that sent him to the canvas in Round 3 wasn’t.
That punch had the challenger in some serious trouble, and things didn’t get any better. In Round 7, Andrade busted his nose, prompting the corner to mercifully stop a one-sided affair.