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Boxing: Spence Jr Tries to Make a Statement

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Today live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn NY, Premiere Boxing Champions (PBC) will be presenting a doubleheader on NBC. The main event will be featuring one of the rising stars of the sport Errol Spence Jr squaring off against his toughest challenge yet, Chris Algieri. In the co-main event, Krzysztof Glowacki will be stepping into the ring to defending his WBO World Cruiserweight belt against Steve Cunningham, who returns to the cruiserweight division for the 1st time since 2012.

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Errol Spence Jr (19-0 with 16 KOs) is 26 years old, a former Olympic fighter, and seems to have the combination of skill and charisma to be a future star in the sport. In the past, Spence has tried to challenge players at the top of the division like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia, but all turned him down, saying he had not earned it yet. He now faces a guy that in the last two years has face Ruslan Provodnikov, Manny Pacquiao, and Amir Khan. This is by far his highest level of an opponent he has faced and it could springboard him to big things in the future.

Chris Algieri (21-2 with 8 KOs) is a really tough fighter. While facing the trio I named earlier, Algieri was knocked down twice by Provodnikov, six times by the future hall of famer, Pacquiao, and went through 12 long rounds with the same Amir Khan who will be facing Canelo Alvarez in 3 weeks. Yet, despite facing these level of opponents, Algieri was never stopped early, lost a close one to Khan, and even got a win over Provodnikov. Algieri’s new trainer since the Khan fight, John David Jackson seems to be really helping Algieri to try to get to a new level.

This is one of the few fights this year where you can’t automatically know who will win. Spence is the favorite, but Algieri is a good boxer, has a great jab, is tough as nails, and has face much better guys in the past. This the type of fight where we see if all the hype around Spence is for real. In my opinion, this can go 2 ways, either Spence wins and moves on to face the to people of the division, or Algieri wins, Spence hype is slowed, and Algieri likely gets another shot at a big money fight. My money is on the former a I’m going with Spence by unanimous decision.

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I was lucky enough to be at the event when Krzysztof Glowacki beat Marco Huck is front of a crazy, mostly Polish, crowd in the Prudential Center 8 months ago. This time, in Brooklyn, you can probably expect more of the same as one thing you will realize about Polish boxers is that they travel extremely well. Glowacki is still 29, undefeated with a record of 25-0 with 16 KOs, and will try to bring the fight to Cunningham, so this one could be really fun to watch.

Steve Cunningham (28-7-1 with 13 KOs) is now 39 years old. Although he hasn’t fought at cruiserweight since 2012, he has always been a very light heavyweight, normally coming in under 210 pounds. Before fighting Yoan Pablo Hernandez back to back, Cunningham was 24-2 and his 2 losses were a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek and a loss to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, in which Cunningham won the rematch 6 months later. Cunningham is better suited at this weight and hopes he regains the form he had when he left the division.

Cunningham is a very skilled boxer and should hold his own against anyone, but he even admits, he doesn’t have knockout power, Glowacki does. Now Cunningham has a good chin, so we may be here for the distance, but neither fighter is exactly shy in terms of throwing punches, so there shouldn’t be a lack of activity. I think it goes the distance and in the end, the crowd will help Glowacki push through to get a close decision.

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Also on the undercard of this event will be 2 undefeated light heavyweights as Marcus Browne (17-0 with 13 KOs) faces another undefeated fighters that will be coming down from cruiserweight, Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-0 with 14 KOs). I think Browne, also a former Olympian, is a better boxer and will end up taking Kalajdzic’s “0”, but the question is, can Browne impress? Thus far, I haven’t been impressed in his fights and he seems a bit wild. Hopefully he can channel his attack and come away from this looking at a better step up.

This is an event with 3 solid fights, that include former Olympic fighters, 4 undefeated records, and what should be a raucous crowd at the Barclays Center. I expected more buzz that it has gotten, but you have to wonder if it’s previous disappointments that have ruined the fan’s expectations or if it’s something personal against PBC as a whole. No matter what it is, I suggest watching this event because there are solid fighters, one as a possible future star, in fights that can go either way, isn’t that what you want as a boxing fan? Enjoy the fights.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com