by David P. Greisman
As often happens on a conference call or press conference held before a boxing match, one fighter will get far more attention than the other. That is indeed the case ahead of the June 14 bout between junior welterweight titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov and challenger Chris Algieri.
So much attention is going to Provodnikov, who was seen as an ESPN2-level fighter until last year, when he dragged Timothy Bradley into a hellish war that Bradley won by a close decision. And then, in October, Provodnikov stopped Mike Alvarado to capture his title belt.
Algieri isn’t completely an afterthought. But he isn’t the one being asked about a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao, nor is he the one receiving the spotlight of an HBO “2 Days” feature.
“I don’t take any offense to it,” Algieri said on a May 28 conference call. “It’s the nature of the game and the situation. I haven’t had those big name fights yet. I’ve only been on TV a couple of times. But I’ve been working very hard throughout my entire career to get ready for this opportunity. On June 14, everybody’s going to see who I am and what I bring to the table. That’s when everyone can really see what Chris Algieri is all about.”
Algieri, a 30-year-old from Huntington, N.Y., will be fighting a little west of home at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He is 19-0 with 8 KOs and is coming off a February decision win over Emmanuel Taylor.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]