SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2016 – Yes, now we know. Errol Spence Jr. really is The Truth. Spence (20-0, 17 KOs) remained undefeated and vaulted himself into the heart of the welterweight division with an impressive fifth round TKO over an overmatched Chris Algieri (21-3, 8 KOs).
So many good-looking boxers crumble when up against a serious challenge. Spence looked even more impressed against the former kickboxer and martial arts champion Algieri. Algieri had been down before, including six times in his fight against Manny Pacquiao. But he made it to the scorecards.
Not this time. Spence hit Algieri with a left hook at the beginning of the fourth round, and again in the early seconds of the fifth round. The second time, Spence wasn’t about to let his prize off the hook. He moved in on Algieri and hurt him for a final time before referee Benjy Esteves waived off the fight at 48 seconds of the fifth round. It was the first stoppage loss in Algieri’s boxing career.
Spence said after the fight he expected a later stoppage. “Chris Algieri is a tough fighter. He tested me a little bit, but he didn’t push me into deep waters,” said Spence.
Algieri said, “Not taking anything away from him, he’s a hungry young lion. He brought some good stuff today. He stayed composed, that was a big part of it. Picked his shots.
I always want to put on a great performance, not only for the fans, but for the sport in general. I hope people can appreciate me and how hard I work,” said Algieri. Algieri said he feels he is still getting better, and he isn’t going anywhere.
Spence’s future is exciting. Who would Spence like? “I think now I’m the number one contender after Kell Brook (of Great Britain). So Kell knows what it is, we need to get on the ring and fight,” said Spence, also calling out titleholder Danny Garcia. As a friend of the column likes to say, ‘Jesus be a matchmaker.’ If the fight is anywhere you can get to by land, sea or air, do it.
Fellow 2012 Olympian Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KOs) didn’t have such a good night in his light heavyweight bout against Bosnian Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KOs). He won a split decision, but Kalajdzic had the best of him, aided by extremely poor referee work. Booing fans knew it, even the announcers knew it. The judges scored it 76-74 each, and a card of 76-75 to Browne to give him the narrow win. Browne was lucky to escape with this one.
“I felt like he won two rounds at most,” said Browne. “As a fighter, you feel it in your heart when you lose. I did not lose this fight.”
Kalajdzic said “I was a big underdog, he’s an Olympian. I showed I belong in this club … If the fans feel like he beat me, then give one more fight … He should give me a rematch.” Agreed.
If we’ve seen the last of American Steve “USS” Cunningham in the boxing ring, he went out with honor. In his first title defense, cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland (27-0, 16 KOs) put American Steve “USS” Cunningham of Philadelphia (28-8-1, 13 KOs) on the canvas twice in the first half of the second round, again in the tenth and a final time in the 12th on the way to a unanimous decision. Judges scored it 116-108, and 115-109 twice. Cunningham’s heart and determination saw him through the worst moments even without his legs under him. Cunningham kept himself in the fight until the end based on strong boxing skills and the sheer will to finish the fight on his feet.
Cunningham had his moments and crawled back to within the possibility of a come from behind victory. He hurt Glowacki several times in the later rounds of the fight. But it wasn’t enough when matched against the tremendous left hooks and straight right hands from Glowacki that found their mark. Coupled with Glowacki’s timing and ability to fire more quickly, it simply took too big a toll.
But even in the final round, Cunningham might have been behind on the scorecards, but he never lets himself feel defeated. Everyone in the boxing world has a real affection for Cunningham for what he stands for both inside and outside the ring. We hope he decides to hang up his gloves and pursue a promising future as a comic book artist and perhaps as a movie super hero. It worked out pretty well for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson after his fighting career. Find the comics on Facebook by searching “USS Comics.”
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on [email protected] Gayle can be reached via Google +
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