Lem’s latest: Chris Algieri to face ‘a lot of firsts’ vs. Ruslan Provodnikov




When Chris Algieri enters the ring on June 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn opposite Ruslan Provodnikov, the unbeaten 30-year-old will be tackling what his promoter, Joe DeGuardia characterized as "a lot of firsts."

"This is huge. The fight's going to be in a tremendous venue and he's also fighting on the premier network, HBO, and fighting for the championship of the world," said DeGuardia of Star Boxing.

"He'll be in against a guy who is deemed to be one of the toughest guys in the business, so he's got a lot firsts. There a lot of big things that he's got to conquer and, frankly, Chris is looking forward to it. He's thrilled to be in this situation."

In his past two fights, Provodnikov (23-2, 16 knockouts) scored a 12th-round knockdown during a unanimous-decision loss to then-WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley in's "2013 Fight of the Year" last March, followed by a 10th-round stoppage over Mike Alvarado in October for his current belt.

Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs), of Huntingon, N.Y., was last in the ring for a unanimous decision over Emmanuel Taylor in February.

"We've got a press conference there tomorrow and we're looking forward to it. This is a great opportunity for Chris," said DeGuardia. "From our perspective, we're thrilled that Chris is going to be fighting in New York," said DeGuardia, "and in the Barclays Center and he's looking forward to winning the junior welterweight championship of the world."

The co-main event will feature British junior middleweight contender Brian Rose (25-1, 7 KOs) against WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs), according to Provodnikov's promoter, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions.

The undercard will also feature unbeaten light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (21-0, 14 KOs) of Long Beach, N.Y., against an opponent to be determined.

Monaghan, 32, is coming off Saturday's fifth round knockout of Joe McCreedy, whom he dropped once in the third and twice in the final round of a bout on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao's unanimous decision over Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The event will include Brooklyn middleweight Simeon Hardy (11-0, 8 KOs) as well as female junior featherweight Heather Hardy (9-0, 2 KOs), who are 26 and 32, respectively. Pelullo promotes Simeon Hardy and DiBella Entertainment promotes Heather Hardy. The two are not related, Pelullo said.



Super middleweight Callum Smith (9-0, 7 KOs) will be after his eighth consecutive knockout when he faces Francois Bastient (43-10-1, 18 KOs) of France on the undercard of the card featuring junior featherweight Scott Quigg (27-0-2, 20 KOs) vs. Tshifhiwa Munyai (24-2-1, 12 KOs) at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England.

The 23-year-old Smith was last in the ring for a sixth-round knockout of former title challenger Ruben Acosta, against whom he injured his left hand. Bastient has won two straight and is coming off last month's unanimous decision over Attila Tibor Nagy.

The 25-year-old Quigg is 6-0-2, with six knockouts in his past eight fights and is coming off a second-round stoppage victory over Diego Oscar Silva in November.

The 28-year-old Munyai will be after his fifth straight win and was last in the ring for an an eighth-round stoppage of Phumzile Matyhila in September.



Southpaw Mike Reed (8-0, 5 KOs) will face Regino Canales (5-4, 2 KOs) on Friday at the Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Md. The 21-year-old Reed was last in the ring a month ago in a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Bilal Mahasin.



Junior featherweight Edwin Sandoval, 20, of Los Angeles and Roman Gamboa will face off in their professional debuts on April 24 at Discoteca Hangar 27, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

Sandoval is a part-time student and the co-founder of CUBS, a custom boxing shoe company, as well as an avid singer, songwriter and musician.