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Photo: Chris Algieri's eye was a mess, but he still beat Ruslan Provodnikov

Chris Algieri's right eye was a swollen, purple disaster, and yet he was the winner tonight against Ruslan Provodnikov. Sometimes, boxing is awesome.

Chris Algieri survived two early knockdowns in round one, and fought on valiantly as his right eye closed due to a left hook that put him down the first time, winning a split decision over Ruslan Provodnikov to lift the WBO junior welterweight title and stay unbeaten tonight on HBO.

Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) got the win on scores of 114-112, 114-112, and 109-117 in a fight that could have gone any number of ways depending on what judges were scoring and their tendencies/preferences. There wasn't even really a wrong score in that lot, as it was defensible to say that Provodnikov did more damage, as well as leaning toward Algieri, who outboxed the defending titleholder.

But take a look at this eye in the post-fight interview with HBO's Max Kellerman:


Algieri said that in the 12th round, he was blind, but that he could see pretty well through the first eight rounds, even though this began developing in the opening round and was a result of one big shot, mostly.

So if Ruslan Provodnikov is "The Siberian Rocky," what does that make Algieri? "The Long Island Robert DeNiro Dramatization of Jake LaMotta"?

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