Chris Algieri's much-discussed split decision upset of Ruslan Provodnikov last Saturday turned the 140-pound division on its head, and now the Long Island fighter has received his WBO world title belt.
Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) was a heavy underdog going into the fight, and started poorly, dropped two times in the first round by the fierce and fearless Provodnikov. But the 30-year-old stayed in the fight and boxed his way back into things, ultimately winding up with a decision win that legitimately could have gone either way.
There has been some talk of Algieri facing Manny Pacquiao or Danny Garcia next, but there has also been talk about a rematch with Provodnikov. The fight was highly entertaining, and this is a rare case of a high-profile boxing fight having "good" controversy, since there are very good arguments for either man to have gotten the nod on the scorecards.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia, of course, is thrilled for his fighter. "Saturday night was among my finest as a promoter and it was truly an honor to present Chris with his world championship belt this afternoon," he said yesterday.