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Weights: Provodnikov 139.8, Algieri 140

provo33(Copyright Ed Mulholland/HBO) By Chris Williams: WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO’s) successfully made weight on Friday in coming in at 139.8 pounds for his title defense against Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KO’s) tomorrow night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Agieri weighed in at 140lbs. The fight card will be televised on HBO’s Boxing After Dark at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, along with the co-feature bout between WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade and Brian Rose.

Andrade weighed in at 153.8lbs, whereas challenger Brian Rose came in at 153.4.

The Provodnikov-Algieri fight should be an interesting match-up due to the contrast in styles, and due to what’s at stake potentially for the Russian born Provodnikov should he win. He could be the next in line for Manny Pacquiao to fight in November. Top Rank prefers to match Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez, Amir Khan or Danny Garcia, but it’s long shot for any of those fights to take place. Khan and Garcia are both with Al Haymon, and Marquez wants a 50-50 purse split to take the fight, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in this lifetime.

Unless Marquez is willing to accept something in the neighborhood of a 75-25 split, if that, then he’s probably not going to get the fight against the 35-year-old Pacquiao. That means that Provodnikov will be in a good position to step in and get the payday of his life. It works out well for Pacquiao and Top Rank, because it means more money for Pacquiao in theory. Provodnikov won’t likely get anywhere near a 25% purse split for the fight, and if they stick it in Macao, China, then Pacquiao won’t be taxed as high as he would if he were to fight in the United States.

Algieri can be the real spoiler on Saturday if he ca out-box Provodnikov, which as we’ve seen in the past, isn’t that hard to do. Journeyman DeMarcus Corley did it in 2011 in a fight that I had Corley winning 8 rounds to 4, and Mauricio Herrera easily out-boxed Provodnikov in 2011. For boxing fans who say that Provodnikov has improved since those two fights, I can’t see any improvement in his game at all.

Provodnikov just looks a little older now at 30, but no improvement. He’s the same guy that struggled against Corley and Herrera. The main difference I see is that they put in with a depleted Mike Alvarado, and with Tim Bradley, who foolishly tried to punch with him instead of boxing circles around him the way Corley and Herrera did.

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