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Pacquiao vs Algieri fight preview: Looking Back at Ruslan Provodnikov vs Chris Algieri

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Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri square off live on HBO PPV. Get ready for the fight with this look back at June's Provodnikov vs. Algieri fight.

Photo by Anton Tabuena

This Saturday, live on HBO PPV, Chris Algieri steps up to the plate to take a swing at pound for pound great Manny Pacquiao. He's an unlikely challenger in many ways - six months ago, few in the boxing world were familiar with him. He was brought in to a June showdown with Ruslan Provodnikov and assumed by many to be a simple can for the fearsome Russian to crush.

Instead, Algieri walked in with confidence and heart for days, overcoming a terrible first round to come back and win a close split decision, earning a shot at Pacquiao along the way. But the decision was not without controversy, as many felt Algieri ran more than fought, and that his win was more influenced by hometown scoring than anything else.

Here then, is a look back at Provodnikov vs. Algieri, including my own round by round scoring, along with full fight video below. Let's see what we can learn about this fight and the fight to come this Saturday.

RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV VS. CHRIS ALGIERI

June 14, 2014

Round 1: This fight could not have started worse for Algieri. After circling and trying to turtle up, he gets caught against the ropes and drilled - hard. Provodnikov successfully cuts the ring off, stopping Algieri's movement and trapping him. The hard Provodnikov punches hurt Algieri's right eye badly and drop him twice. The fact that he comes back from this round is amazing. 10-7 Provodnikov

Round 2: Algieri is surprisingly in it already, working a fast rapid fire jab. He lands more shots than Provodnikov, but few seem to hurt. It's a good bounce back round from Algieri, but the deciding factor here is that Provodnikov's power hurts Algieri at one point, while Algieri's punches have no impact. 10-9 Provodnikov

Round 3: This one is a close, tough round. Again, Algieri is significantly busier, but this time, Provodnikov does not seem to land with that same power he has shown in the first two rounds. 10-9 Algieri, making it 29-26 Provodnikov after 3

Round 4: Algieri shows off his nice, fast hands. He mixes things up, working behind the crisp jab, but following that punch up with a wide variety of attacks. By this point, he is using a lot of movement, successfully keeping the fight centered in the ring and avoiding being trapped against the ropes as he was in round 1. 10-9 Algieri

Round 5: At this point, the rhythm of the fight is pretty clearly established. Algieri is throwing and landing more. He has the better movement, and it's become much harder for Provodnikov to trap him. That said, Algieri's shots are clearly weaker, and seem to irritate Provodnikov more than hurt him. So the question from round to round becomes this - Algieri will always land more, but will Provodnikov land the hard enough shot to take the round? In round 5, the answer is yes, as he gets in some heavy shots early, then a heavy clean hook at the bell to wobble Algieri. 10-9 Provodnikov

Round 6: Again, we've found the fight's rhythm. Algieri works hard and lands twice the punches of Provodnikov, who never finds the clean hard shot. 10-9 Algieri; 57-55 Provodnikov after 6

Round 7: This is a close round, where power comes into play. Algieri really pumps those rapid fire jabs, landing considerably more. Provodnikov manages to find him and land 2 hard shots, which would have been enough to take round 6, but this time, Algieri has begun adding some more power and crispness to his punches, starting to put the hurt on Provodnikov himself. 10-9 Algieri

Round 8: Maybe it's the added power from Algieri in round 7, or maybe it's just conditioning, but at this point, Provodnikov is starting to tire and look sloppy. Opposite the ring, Algieri is staying crisp and busy, not letting his foot off the gas at all and beginning to clearly take control of this fight. 10-9 Algieri

Round 9: Algieri with the stinging jabs to open up, but he then slows down twice against the ropes. That's all the opening Provodnikov needs, and he tags Algieri to hurt him. Message? Provodnikov may be tired, but he is still dangerous. 10-9 Provodnikov; 85-84 Provodnikov after 9

Round 10: With both men tiring a bit we start getting work from the clinch where Algieri shows off a somewhat surprisingly nice game, landing good clean shots on the break. Interesting bit post round, as Roach tells Provodnikov they need a KO because it's too close. You have to love the candor of Roach in a situation where many corners would tell their fighter everything was fine. 10-9 Algieri

Round 11: Despite Roach's advice, Provodnikov comes out lacking aggression, allowing Algieri to take control and continue his higher output scoring. 10-9 Algieri

Round 12: With 3 minutes to go, Provodnikov combines aggression with fatigue, starting to throw wild and miss wide. Algieri, ever the pro, simply stays calm and poised, controlling the round. 10-9 Algieri, giving it a final score of 114-112 Algieri in my books.

Two judges (Don Trella and Tom Schreck) agree with me, calling it 114-112 Algieri, while Max Deluca goes 117-109 Provodnikov for the split decision Algieri win.

Despite the huge 5 point swing in those scores, it's hard to get worked up about them. This is an incredibly tough fight to score, as in terms of sheer volume Algieri out punches Provodnikov in every single round, often significantly. But very few of his punches pack the power of Provodnikov's best. So, which do you score more - volume or power?

Watch the fight below and weigh in BE readers - who do you think won this fight?