SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2016 – Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.’s skills have made hungry boxing fans salivate ever since his performance at the 2012 Olympic Games. Although he didn’t win a medal, he won plenty of admirers and his career has been on a slow, steady rise ever since.
By the end of Saturday night, boxing may welcome Spence (19-0, 16 KOs) to the elite ranks of the welterweight division, worthy of consideration as an opponent for people like Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. But not if Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) has any say in it. Spence and Algieri headline the 10-round main event for Premier Boxing Champions at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
There is no doubt about Spence’s talent. Plenty of people including Floyd Mayweather are on the Spence bandwagon. Spence has received criticism for fighting less than challenging opposition, which promoters always find tempting when trying to build up a future star’s record. The bandwagon may lose a few people should Spence lose to Algieri. Although Algieri has two recent losses, they were to (in order) Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan. Algieri defeated Erick Bone in December, which put him in Spence’s path.
Algieri, a former kickboxing and martial arts champion, got the boxing world’s attention with an improbable, inspiring victory over Ruslan Provodnikov. His route to boxing is unusual to say the least. A graduate of Stony Brook College with a master’s degree in nutrition, he is a quick thinker and crafty in the ring, capable of quick changes which makes him dangerous.
If Spence can rise to the occasion and his skills aren’t a mirage, he should be able to hold off Algieri. Algieri has never been stopped, so a knockout might be a little ambitious for Spence. But he can’t leave any question in the mind of the judges. We all know what can happen.
In the co-main event, cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland (25-0, 16 KOs) defends his title against American Steve “USS” Cunningham of Philadelphia (28-7-1, 13 KOs). Glowacki battled back from hitting the canvas to knocking out German champion Marco Huck in a 2015 Fight of the Year last August, which was also at the Barclays Center.
Not many fans knew Glowacki’s name then, but they do now and they’ve been eager to see him again. Glowacki is just as happy. “I am so excited to come back to the U.S. for a major fight,” said Glowacki. “I respect Steve Cunningham as a sportsman and a man. He is a world class fighter, and I know that he will be well prepared against me.”
It’s hard not to root for Cunningham, a Navy veteran who fights as much for his family including his now 11-year-old daughter Kennedy who had a heart transplant in 2014 as he does for himself.
“I approach every fight as if it’s a must-win situation, no games,” said Cunningham. “Of course I want to win, but I know that not everyone can be a Floyd Mayweather Jr. and win them all. But I can push myself to the limit, do my best and give it my all like I’ve always done. If I lose and look good, or if I get jobbed like I have in other fights, maybe there is still life in my career.”
Cunningham is an admirable, engaging man. But if your heart says Cunningham, your head says Glowacki, who at 29 is ten years younger than Cunningham with power to match his determination on his side. He might not stop Cunningham, but he will put Cunningham’s tough chin to the test. The referee in this bout needs to be willing to step in and stop Cunningham from getting hurt if the fight goes Glowacki’s way.
Spence’s fellow 2012 Olympian Marcus Browne (17-0, 13 KOs) faces Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (21-0, 14 KOs) of Bosnia-Herzegovina now living in Florida in a 10-round light heavyweight fight.
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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