By Keith Idec
There was a time not much longer than a year ago when even diehard fight fans were about as familiar with Ruslan Provodnikov as they are today with Chris Algieri.
Like the powerful Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) did against then-unbeaten Timothy Bradley, Algieri will attempt to make the jump from ESPN2 fighter to HBO staple against Provodnikov on June 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 30-year-old Algieri is unbeaten (19-0, 8 KOs), but Provodnikov’s famous trainer doesn’t think the ex-kickboxing champion from Huntington, N.Y., is capable of upsetting his rugged Russian fighter.
“Algieri is a tough fighter,” Freddie Roach told BoxingScene.com. “He’s a good boxer and he’s a conditioning freak. I think Algieri will give us trouble at the beginning of the fight, but we’ll break him down and knock him out in the late rounds.”
The 12-round Provodnikov-Algieri fight for Provodnikov’s WBO junior welterweight title will headline HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” telecast two weeks from Saturday. HBO’s doubleheader will open at 10 p.m. ET June 14 with another 12-round bout between WBO junior middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs), of Providence, R.I., and England’s Brian Rose (25-1-1, 7 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.