by David P. Greisman
Junior welterweight titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov had been hoping for another big fight to kick off his 2014, given that his 2013 started with the “Fight of the Year” loss to Timothy Bradley and then his title win over Mike Alvarado.
He didn’t get another major star opponent for his next bout. Instead, he’s facing Algieri, an undefeated prospect who will be appearing on HBO for the first time. But Provodnikov says there’s no letdown in facing Algieri in the main event of this Saturday’s card airing from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“It’s another big fight for me, and it’s another big challenge, because it’s my first defense of the title, so it’s very important for me to perform the way I should perform, and the way that’s expected of me,” Provodnikov told a group of reporters on June 7. “I’ve been very motivated through this camp, and I feel like this is another fight just like my previous two fights.”
Provodnikov, 30, is 23-2 with 16 knockouts. Algieri, 30, is 19-0 with 8 knockouts.
Pick up a copy of David’s 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]