American Chris Algieri climbed off the canvas twice and survived some hairy moments to take Ruslan Provodnikov’s WBO light-welterweight title in the Russian’s very first defence.
The 30 year-old showed the heart of a champion as he took some huge shots from the big-hitting Provodnikov, finishing the fight with a swollen face as he extended his undefeated record to 20 fights.
Algieri was put down hard from a massive left hook in the very first session as Provodnikov went for the early knockout, following it up with another as the stunned challenger had to take a knee. Provodnikov landed another haymaker at the end of the fifth round, but between being rocked Algieri proceeded to pick of ‘The Siberian Rocky’ with classy right hands as the favourite marauded forward continually.
From the eighth round on, with the fight seemingly in the balance, Algieri took over and stayed out of trouble to put important rounds in the bank and ultimately pull off an unbelievable win and claim Provodnikov’s coveted belt.
Two judges at ringside scored the fight pretty much spot on with cards of 114-112, which was the way I saw it, with the third, Max DeLuca inexplicably carding 117-109 to Provodnikov and he should now face questions about his scoring.
It was a shocking win for the snow white underdog, who was in tears at being handed the WBO belt, after ending Provodnikov’s chances of challenging Manny Pacquiao for the welterweight title in November.
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