Boxing spotlight

Chris Algieri gets world-title opportunity against SWBO junior-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov

 
 
Algieri
Algieri

Coming up

Thursday (9 p.m., ESPN2): Josesito Lopez vs. Aaron Martinez, 10, junior welterweights.

Saturday (9 p.m., Showtime): Lucas Matthyse vs. John Molina, 10, junior-welterweights; Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz, 12, welterweights.


Special to the Miami Herald

Landing a date on the premium cable networks indicates another successful progression in a fighter’s career.

Not only has Chris Algieri earned his first HBO appearance but also it will be packaged with a world-title opportunity.

Unbeaten in his first 19 professional fights, Algieri will face Ruslan Provodnikov June 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The fight will be Provodnikov’s first as defending World Boxing Organization junior-welterweight champion.

If Algieri wants to earn his stripes in top-tier bouts, he found an immediate test in Provodnikov. The native of Russia has fought most of his career as a junior-welterweight but nearly dethroned former welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in their title bout last year. Bradley suffered two knockdowns and sustained a concussion as a result of the fight’s physical toll.

“Ruslan is a great champion and feared and avoided guy in the junior-welterweight division, which is exactly why I am eager for the chance to fight him,” Algieri said.

Algieri’s promoter, Joe DeGuardia, acknowledged the required path his fighter has taken to now face one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport.

“We have been grooming Chris for this opportunity, and I know he is ready,” DeGuardia said. “Chris is in top shape and thrilled to be fighting Ruslan — one of the toughest and most highly regarded fighters in boxing.”

Around the ring

• Part-time Miami Beach resident Bernard Hopkins became the oldest fighter to unify world titles after his split-decision victory over Beibut Shumenov late Saturday in Washington.

Hopkins, 49, outclassed Shumenov with left and right combinations to the head and solidified his performance, dropping Shumenov with a right to the head in the 11th round.

Judges Jerry Roth and Dave Moretti scored the bout for Hopkins 116-111. Despite Hopkins’ dominance, the third judge, Gustavo Padilla, scored the fight for Shumenov 114-113.

With the victory, Hopkins (55-6-2) retained his International Boxing Federation light-heavyweight title and won the World Boxing Association belt previously held by Shumenov (14-2).

On the same card, Shawn Porter retained his IBF welterweight title with a fourth-round technical knockout win over Paulie Malignaggi, and Peter Quillin successfully defended his World Boxing Organization middleweight crown with a unanimous decision victory over Lukas Konecny.

• Mexico’s Rogelio Medina will be unbeaten prospect Jonathan Gonzalez’s next test. Medina was announced last week as Gonzalez’s opponent in their scheduled 10-round middleweight bout May 1 at Hialeah Park and Casino.

Gonzalez (17-0-1, 14 KOs) and Medina (32-5, 26 KOs) will open the ESPN2 telecast of the scheduled eight-bout show. Welterweights Roberto Garcia, of Weslaco, Texas, and the Dominican Republic’s Victor Cayo will face off the in the main event.

For information on the inaugural card at Hialeah Park and Casino, call 786-483-7444.

• Miami resident Yudel Jhonson won a convincing unanimous decision against Lenwood Dozier on Friday night in Monroeville, Pa. Jhonson set the tone to his lopsided win with a first-round knockdown.

All three judges scored the bout for Jhonson 80-71. A 2008 Olympic silver medalist representing his native Cuba, Jhonson is 15-1.

On the same card, Cuba native and Miami resident Alexei Collado suffered his first professional defeat. Rod Silka, of Bunola, Pa., won a unanimous decision against Collado in their 10-round lightweight match. Collado is 18-1.

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