Chris Algieri, who recently was signed up to face Manny Pacquiao on November 22 in Macau, says he was confident before the scores were read on June 14 that he had beaten Ruslan Provodnikov, despite the fight being close, and that he's looking forward to his next huge test, and another opportunity at an upset.
Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) spoke with ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas on tonight's Friday Night Fights card at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York, which has been for all intents and purposes Algieri's professional home field.
Asked whether he thought he'd won before the scores were read against Provodnikov, Algieri said, "Absolutely. I was very confident going into the scorecards that I'd won the fight." Atlas also asked him what he thought going to his corner after round one, where he was dropped twice by the ferociously aggressive Siberian.
"I'm thinking, damn, I gotta get back to the game plan," Algieri said. "The guy's as dangerous as they say. I made a mistake and I had to deal with it all night. I had to be smart from there on."
Algieri, 30, was pretty much a total unknown in the boxing world at the start of 2014, with some diehards aware of his presence in Long Island, but few seeing him as a likely breakout star for the year. When he was signed to face Provodnikov, it was overwhelmingly written off as a lousy matchup, but like so many fights have in the last couple of years, turned into a surprising back-and-forth battle with a lot of entertainment value.
The underdog certainly has his work cut out for him again, and says he's looking forward to that next step against Pacquiao in November.
"I'm still pinching myself. I'm here, and it really happened, and I can't wait for the rest of the journey."