WBO light-welterweight title challenger Chris Algieri is hoping to use his elusiveness to bamboozle hard-hitting champion Ruslan Provodnikov as the American heads into the biggest fight of his life on Saturday night.
The New Yorker, who has an unblemished 19-fight record, is a heavy underdog going into contest, but does have the advantage of fighting on his doorstep at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Algieri, 30, faces a hardened contender in Provodnikov, who stands on the fringes of the pound for pound best, with the Huntingdon-native still pinching himself at the opportunity that stands before him.
“It’s surreal for me. It’s a dream come true,” said Algieri. “I believe my maturity as an adult has helped me throughout this whole process. It’s been hectic but smooth.
“Pressure has always made me step up to the competition. I prepared, I am in shape. Fight night, I am going to show who I really am. Ruslan has this great power in his punches but if you can’t land them, the power really doesn’t matter.
“I have fought in world title fights as a kickboxer. I have been the underdog and fought in large venues. That has prepared me for this.
“I know I belong with these guys and I know I can beat them and now I am ready to prove it again on June 14. I have to go out there and control the center of the ring. Push the pace and go out there and use my boxing IQ.
“I have been preparing for the power by not getting hit. The nation has seen me. They see what I can do. People don’t know who I am yet. They will after Saturday. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I would win.
“I am not much into prediction but all I can on Saturday is and the new….”
Provodnikov vs. Algieri takes place on Saturday, June 14, at Barclays Center. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®,beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The co-main event will feature undefeated WBO junior middleweight champion DEMETRIUS “Boo Boo” ANDRADE, making his first title defense, against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger BRIAN “The Lion” ROSE. These four gladiators boast a combined record of 87-3-1 (44 KOs) – a 96 percent winning ratio, with more than half of their total victories coming by way of knockout.
Promoted by Banner Promotions and Top Rank®, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, remaining tickets to the Provodnikov-Algieri world championship event, priced at $31, $56, $86, $106 and $206, can be purchased online via Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com orwww.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group tickets are also available by calling 855-GROUP-BK. For information on individual suites, please call 718-BK-SUITE.
The action-packed undercard will feature undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas champion, Top-Five contender and Long Beach, Long Island fan favorite “Irish” SEANIE MONAGHAN, and the debut of professional women’s boxing at Barclays Center with HEATHER “The Heat” HARDY of Brooklyn risking her undefeated record.
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Provodnikov v Algieri is live on HBO Boxing this Saturday night from 10pm ET and on Sky Sports in the UK from 2am BST