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Errol Spence Jr. faces Chris Algieri on 4/16 at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Errol Spence JrBy Dan Ambrose: #2 IBF welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. 19-0, 16 KOs) will be putting his unbeaten record on the line on April 16 against #5 WBO Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) on April 16 in what is supposed to be an IBF 147lb eliminator bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet whether the Spence-Algieri fight will be an eliminator. Algieri isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the International Boxing Federation, so it’s possible that Spence will still need to face someone else for the final eliminator.

Spence has plenty of time though because IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook is fighting his mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier on March 26, and after that fight, Brook will have two voluntary defenses that he can take. Those fights will likely take a year or so for Brook to get out of the way. In the meantime, Spence will have time to face a top contender in the IBF’s rankings for the 147lb eliminator.

Spence-Algieri will be televised on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at 8:30 ET/5:30 p.m. PT. The fight will be seen by a lot of fans given that it’s on free television and it’ll be shown during the primetime hours. It’s helped that the card is loaded with interesting fights that will attract interest.

“Chris Algieri has been in the ring with Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov and he’s a former world champ,” Spence said. “This is a big fight for me and a step up, but I plan to rise to the occasion. I’m going to handle him like I’ve handled all of my past opponents.”

Algieri has lost two out of his last three fights, but he’s looked really good in his last two fights against Amir Khan and Erick Bone. Algieri was totally dominated by Manny Pacquiao in 2014. After that fight, Algieri put on weight and changed his fighting style to become more of a straight ahead pressure fighter. It’s paid off because he’s a much better fighter now than he was when he was using his boxing skills to try and win fights. Against Spence, Algieri is going to need to go back and forth by being tactic and aggressive. He won’t do well if he goes straight at Spence because it’s too dangerous to fight like that against a puncher like him.

The 26-year-old Spence is seen as a future star in the welterweight division by many. Floyd Mayweather Jr. believes that Spence is going to make a huge name for himself in the future. For that to happen, Spence, a 2012 U.S Olympian, will need to beat Algieri on April 16 and then defeat IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in the future. Spence has a lot of tough fights ahead of him and a lot of proving to do.

This is one of the best PBC cards I’ve seen. It has three very good fights, and it’s not a card with just one good fight with mismatches in the undercard. All of the undercard fights are potentially competitive match-ups.

In the co-feature bout, WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (25-0, 16 KOs) will be making his first defense against 39-year-old American Steve Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs) in a 12 round fight. Glowacki won the WBO title last year with an upset victory over Marco Huck. Glowacki hasn’t had a chance to defend his title until now due to injury problems.

Cunningham, a former IBF cruiserweight champion, is moving down from heavyweight after having fought in that division for the last three years. Cunningham was unable to get a world title shot. He did fight Tyson Fury a couple of years ago in 2013, but lost that fight. Cunningham was also beaten by Manuel Quezada, Vyacheslav Glazkov and held to a 12 round draw against Antonio Tarver.

Also on the Spence-Algieri card is undefeated 2012 U.S. Olympian light heavyweight Marcus Browne (17-0, 13 KOs) facing Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (21-0, 14 KOs) in a 10 round fight. Browne has looked very impressive since turning pro four years ago, and he’s got the talent to one day become a world champion. He’s not ready yet, especially with guys like Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson holding down the four titles. Never the less, Browne would be a formidable threat to WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer right now if he could get a shot at his title.


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