Errol Spence steamrolls Algieri and shows that he is the future of the welterweight division
By Hector Franco
This Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Texas native Errol Spence (20-0, 17 KO’s) faced off against former 140-pound champion, Chris Algieri (21-3, 8 KO’s). The winner of the bout would become the number one contender for Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight title.
Errol Spence put a beating on Chris Algieri for the entirety of the bout and stopped him in the fifth round. Spence was determined on this night and would not be stopped.
The first round started well for Spence, as he was able to focus on landing to Algieri’s body. Algieri was able to move, but unable to land anything significant in the round. Spence took a more proactive approach in the second round as he backed Algieri up and landed vicious body punches. The body shots could be heard throughout the arena.
The young man from Texas was able to vary his attack and land uppercuts up top as well. Spence showed that he was capable of cutting the ring off on a mobile opponent. After the third round it was clear that Spence was not in over his head by taking on Algieri. In the fourth round Spence was able to score a knockdown during an exchange with Algieri. The New York native took the 8 count and got back up. Algieri got through the rest of the round and seemed to have recovered fully. That is until the fifth round started as he got into an exchange with Spence who was there to finish the job. Spence knocked Algieri down two more times and the referee waved off the bout. The last knockdown was particularly brutal as Algieri was against the ropes.
We’ll see if a Brook-Spence fight actually takes place. The most impressive part of Spence’s performance was the body punching. Spence was able to completely destroy a legitimate fighter that had previously never been stopped. Spence put the entire welterweight division on notice.
Before Spence-Algieri we saw light heavyweight action between Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KO’s) and Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KO’s). Both fighters were undefeated and the winner could be set up with a title shot later this year. The bout was originally to be a ten rounder, but turned into an eight round bout. Browne scored a controversial split decision victory with scores of 76-74, 76-75 for Browne and one judge having it 76-74 for Kalajdzic. The decision was not popular with fans in attendance.
Browne scored what was ruled a knockdown in the first round with a jab. On the replay it was clear that a punch did not land and it should not have been ruled a knockdown. There may have been a problem with the Corona advertisement in the middle of the ring as many fighters were slipping on that spot in the canvas all night long. The first two rounds were close rounds with neither fighter having the advantage. The knockdown in the first was the clear difference in the scoring.
Browne in the third round came out and landed some hard power punches on Kalajdzic. The Serbian showed he could take a punch by firing back and staying up. The fourth round was more of the same as Browne continued to land hard power punches. The momentum changed in the last minute of the fourth round as Kalajdzic landed a hard right hand that stunned Browne. Browne was clearly hurt and was now backing up in survival mode. The fifth round was the ugliest round of the bout thus far. Browne was still hurt from the fourth round and he decided to come in and hold Kalajdzic for most of the round.
The Serbian was able to score a knockdown in the sixth round with a straight right hand that hurt Browne. Browne’s legs didn’t look to be underneath him for the rest of the round. Browne was again in survival mode for the entirety of the seventh and eighth rounds.
At the end of the bout, Kalajdzic had put his name on the map. He was the underdog in the bout and nobody expected him to win. Fans will be hoping for a rematch between the two men in the future.
To start off the telecast we saw some cruiserweight action as Krzysztof Glowacki (26-0, 16KO’s) defended his WBO title against veteran Steve Cunningham (28-8-1,13 KO’s). Glowacki was awarded the unanimous decision victory with scores of 116-108 and 115-109 twice.
Glowacki had a lot of Polish fans in attendance. You could hear them throughout the building in support of Glowacki. The first round was a feel out round as both men traded jabs. In the second round Glowacki landed a left hand that dropped Cunningham. The two men began to trade vicious punches. Glowacki was able to get Cunningham on the floor one more time. It looked like a slip from the outside but was ruled a knock down by referee Arthur Mercante. The third was a better round for Cunningham. But it was highlighted by Glowacki’s consistent ability to land straight lefts on the former champion.
After three rounds Glowacki was well ahead. The 10-7 second round gave Cunningham a hill to climb to get back into the fight. The fourth and fifth rounds were fought at a much slower pace than the first three. Cunningham wasn’t landing enough shots and the shots he was able to land didn’t have much power behind them. Glowacki on the other hand, fought at the pace he wanted and continued landing his straight left.
After the sixth round, there were many close rounds that could have been scored for either fighter. In the tenth Glowacki landed a short right hook that looked like a jab that hurt Cunningham and dropped him. Glowacki came in for the kill and after some great exchanges; Cunningham landed a right hand that hurt Glowacki. At the end of the round, Cunningham knew that he might need a knockout to win the fight. Cunningham pressed the action in the last two rounds.
He was getting to Glowacki who seemed to be slowing down and tiring. Glowacki, however, showed that he was the bigger puncher during an exchange as he knocked Cunningham down once again in the twelfth. After the fight, the crowd gave both men a standing ovation.
Cunningham showed a lot of heart getting up from all the knockdowns in the fight and to still come forward. Glowacki showed that he has a lot of power in both hands. With wins over Marco Huck and now Steve Cunningham, Glowacki may be the leader of the next generation in the cruiserweight division.
The highlight of the untelevised undercard showcased local New York favorite, Heather “The Heat” Hardy. Hardy faced off against Swedish fighter Anna Hultin.
After three rounds of Hardy having target practice with the right hand, Hultin decided she had enough in the fourth round. Hardy landed a couple of body shots and Hultin was unable to continue. Hultin complained of an unknown injury and chose to have the fight stopped. The fight was stopped at the 1:48 mark of the fourth round. Hardy improved her record to 16-0 with 4 knockouts.
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