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Provodnikov-Algieri/Marquez-Arroyo: Pre-Report Cards

By Cliff Rold

When a division is genuinely stacked, an inevitable bleed of talent occurs.  112 lbs. is genuinely stacked.

This weekend, we are starting to see the bleed.  Former titlist Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, after stoppage losses in his two of his last five starts to Brian Viloria and Giovani Segura is taking his talents north.  Flyweight is crowded, making fresh opportunities for titles harder to come by.

Jr. Bantamweight, or 115 lbs., is anything but crowded these days.  Thus, a move north and a chance in an IBF eliminator to get back into a title picture.  It might be on the undercard of Jorge Arce-Jorge Lacierva (BeIn Espanol, 12 AM EST/PST), but Marquez versus McJoe Arroyo is the real main event Saturday in Chiapas, Mexico.

There is no question about the main event on HBO Saturday night (10 PM EST/PST).  Fresh off a narrow loss to then-WBO Welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley and winning the WBO Jr. Welterweight crown from Mike Alvarado, one of the premiere action stars in the game is ready for his first defense and first appearance of 2014.  Can Ruslan Provodnikov maintain his momentum? 

Let’s go the report cards.

The Ledgers

Ruslan Provodnikov 


Age:
30


Titles/Previous Titles: WBO Light Welterweight (2013-Present, 1st Attempted Defense) 

Height: 5’6
Weight: 139.8

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 141.1 lbs.

Hails from: Beryozovo, Russia
Record: 23-2, 16 KO

Rankings: #1 (BoxingScene), #2 (TBRB, Ring), #3 (ESPN, BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 1-1, 1 KO

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 3 (Javier Jauregui TKO8; DeMarcus Corley UD12; Timothy Bradley L12; Mike Alvarado RTD10)

Vs.

Chris Algieri
Age: 33
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’10  

Weight: 140
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 142. 5 lbs.

Hails from: Huntington, New York


Record: 19-0, 8 KO


Rankings: Unrated
Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Major Title Fight
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 0

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Provodnikov B-; Algieri B
Pre-Fight: Power – Provodnikov B+; Algieri C-
Pre-Fight: Defense – Provodnikov C; Algieri B
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Provodnikov A; Algieri B

This is a fight where the favorite has reason for concern.  The question is: how much?  Algieri is still a fairly unknown commodity.  He hasn’t been matched with the Bradley’s and Alvarado’s (and Mauricio Herrera’s) just yet.  That doesn’t mean he can’t reach that level.

Everyone knows what to expect from Provodnikov.  The hard-nosed Russian comes forward behind a heavy jab, a stellar beard, and very heavy hands.  He can lose rounds, but his pressure has a way of eroding wills.  Those lumbering blows keep coming.  So does he. 

Algieri, taller and quicker, has shown good feet and knowledge of the ring.  He covers well and should be a hard target to find.  He’s not going to look to stand and war with Provodnikov.  With an at least somewhat friendly crowd likely in Brooklyn (the native New Yorker will also draw crowds from local Eastern ethnics rooting for the reigning titlist), Algieri will have some support to help calm any nerves.

This is a big step up in class and Algieri has never been past ten rounds.  Can he build a lead early?  Maybe.  Can Algieri hold a lead against a man who still punches hard in rounds eleven and twelve? 

At Jr. Bantamweight, another undefeated fighter who has never been twelve rounds faces one of the most seasoned warriors below Bantamweight.          

Hernan Marquez 


Age: 25


Titles: None
Previous Titles: WBA Flyweight (2011-12, 2 Defenses) 

Height: 5’3
Weight: 115

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 114.45 lbs.

Hails from: Empalme, Sonora, Mexico
Record: 37-4, 26 KO, 3 KOBY

Rankings: At 112 - #7 (ESPN), #10 (BoxingScene, Ring) 

Record in Major Title Fights: 3-1, 3 KO, 1 KOBY

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 3 (Nonito Donaire TKO by 8; Luis Concepcion TKO11, TKO1; Brian Viloria TKO by 10; Carlos Tamara UD12; Giovani Segura KO by 12)

Vs.

McJoe Arroyo
Age: 28
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’4  

Weight: 115
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 115.2 lbs.

Hails from: Fajardo, Puerto Rico


Record: 14-0, 7 KO


Rankings: Unrated

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 0

Grades

Pre-Fight: Speed – Marquez B; Arroyo B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Marquez B+; Arroyo C
Pre-Fight: Defense – Marquez C+; Arroyo B
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Marquez B+; Arroyo B

The move to 115 may be about more than the ridiculous depth found currently at Flyweight.  Marquez, in the losses to Viloria and Segura, often seemed less than sturdy.  Contrast that with some of his recent appearances above 112 and the difference in his legs is noticeable.  At 25, Marquez might be at a point where his body is better off not burning those extra pounds anymore. 

Segura and Viloria have the sort of power that can wear on legs in any division and, having been stopped three times and down in his first win against the big punching Concepcion, Marquez’s vulnerabilities seem obvious.  Arroyo isn’t a big puncher so he can’t fall back on that.  He will have to rely on superior speed and technique in this battle of southpaws.

The technique could be there.  Arroyo was Puerto Rico’s 2008 Olympian at Bantamweight (losing in the first round).  He was also a 2007 World Amateur Bronze Medalist in the division.  His pedigree is solid. 

His professional experience so far is lacking. 

Arroyo has faced only a smattering of fighters with winning records and never been farther than eight rounds.  Can he hold Marquez at bay?  What answer does he have for the sneaky uppercuts of the veteran?  For a fighter with plenty of question marks remaining in the paid ranks, he’ll need a lot of answers on Saturday. 

This is a big seven days for the Arroyo family.  Twin brother McWilliams Arroyo (14-1, 12 KO), a 2008 Olympian at Flyweight and 2009 World Amateur champion, has an IBF eliminator at 112 lbs. on Thursday versus Filipino Froilan Saludar (19-0-1, 12 KO).  Will their week get off on the right foot?  

The Picks

Both these fights have undefeated, fresh faces against more proven veterans. Algieri and Arroyo have solid chances to win for some of the same reasons.  They each hold the edge in speed in their encounters and are capable of making the veterans chase and come after them.

There is no substitute for experience.  Until they prove they belong, the gap in quality of competition is simply too glaring.  Provodnikov has a way of making every fight tough, but only some very good fighters have been able to outlast him and walk away with wins on the cards.  At some point, he’s going to walk Algieri down and hold onto his title.  He might be well down on the cards when it happens.

Arroyo should last the distance but Marquez will have fresher legs and more looks than the less experienced man is ready for just yet.  Of the two Arroyo brothers, McJoe has been the lesser matched of the two and it won’t help him here.  Jumping from eight round affairs to Marquez seems to wide a bridge to cross.  Marquez should be the victor on points, moving on later this year to challenge the winner of July’s battle for the currently vacant IBF belt between Zolani Tete (18-3, 16 KO) and Teiru Kinoshita (19-0-1, 3 KO).  

Report Card Picks 2014: 28-10

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 06-15-2014

[QUOTE=kiaba360;14663125]Can't wait to watch the fight. Was it a clinic or competitive?[/QUOTE] Ass whipping.

Comment by kiaba360 on 06-15-2014

[QUOTE=crold1;14663062]Arroyo was fantastic. Impressed. 115 is a mostly bare cabinet. He could make a serious run. He and Cuadras down the road could be something.[/QUOTE] Can't wait to watch the fight. Was it a clinic or competitive?

Comment by crold1 on 06-15-2014

[QUOTE=Corelone;14660693]Of course Tyson looked better over 112, he was in with lesser lights. Not saying that McJoe hasn't got problems, but those are more about fighting in Mexico. Marquez can't dance.[/QUOTE] Arroyo was fantastic. Impressed. 115 is a mostly bare…

Comment by Corelone on 06-14-2014

Of course Tyson looked better over 112, he was in with lesser lights. Not saying that McJoe hasn't got problems, but those are more about fighting in Mexico. Marquez can't dance.

Comment by john_uphold on 06-14-2014

[QUOTE=Ringlife;14660131]One of my buddies from work bet 1,000 dollars that Martinez would beat Cotto in a deal with this fight for another 1.000 dollars that Algieri would beat Provodnikov. Looks like my buddy will be 2.000 bucks in the whole…

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