In just a couple days, Premier Boxing Champions returns to Spike TV, in Brooklyn, from the Barclays Center, to present Amir Khan vs. Chris Algieri. On the originally made card, the co-main event was supposed to be Paulie Malignaggi squaring off against Danny O’Connor. However, with Malignaggi getting an eye injury just a couple weeks ago, the fight was called off. O’Connor ended up fighting, and winning, against Chris Gilbert last week, and the fight was replaced with Bryan Vasquez facing Javier Fortuna for the vacant WBA Junior Lightweight Title.
Amir “King” Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) has fast hands, a known sketchy chin, and almost always seems to make for a good fight. His best wins include Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, and his last fight in December against Devon Alexander. His losses were to Danny Garcia, a controversial split decision loss to Lamont Peterson, and a first-round upset as he was knocked out by Breidis Prescott, although that was seven years ago. He has always been known as the guy who is in talks for a big fight for Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, but has yet to cash in with either.
Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) is an extremely skilled, technical fighter who lacks pop. In 2014, Algieri’s career skyrocketed from upsetting Emmanuel Taylor on Friday night fights, to pulling off a huge upset of Ruslan Provodnikov, albeit in a controversial split decision, to actually hitting the jackpot and doing what Amir Khan hasn’t done, getting a fight against Manny Pacquiao. The fight against Pacquiao was his only loss, but he was knocked down six times, and likely didn’t win even a round. Before last year, Algieri had no other notable opponents.
This is yet another chance that Khan has to show he deserves a fight against one of the two elites, likely Floyd Mayweather’s final fight in September. He felt he deserved one last year, but Mayweather ended up fighting Maidana twice, who Khan beat in 2010.
Algieri doesn’t have the power to hurt Khan, although Algieri’s biggest weapon is his jab. Likewise, Khan has a solid jab and should be able to hurt, or at least look like he’s hurting Algieri more to the judges. I’m going with Khan by unanimous decision.
Also on the card will be a battle of top 5 junior lightweights as Bryan Vasquez (34-1, 18 KOs) will be stepping into the ring against Javier Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KOs). This is actually a very interesting fight between two guys in the prime of their career. The biggest question here is who is going to step up and show that they are the real deal. Neither fighter has faced anyone significant except for Vasquez’s only loss, which was when he was stopped in Tokyo by the current top junior lightweight in the world, Takashi Uchiyama.
I think both guys have solid power, enough power that I don’t think this will go the distance. It’s a pretty even fight and could go either way. The winner will definitely be setting themselves up to be showcased as a young rising potential star. Vasquez has more experience, but I feel Fortuna has a higher ceiling, so I’m going to go with Fortuna by 7th round stoppage. Because, like I said, this is a 50-50 fight that can go either way, I don’t have extreme confidence in this pick, but I do think it will be an exciting fight and probably will be more exciting than the original fight scheduled of Malignaggi vs O’Connor.
One thing that PBC has brought to boxing is more exposure. As much as most people have HBO or Showtime, everyone that has any type of cable package has Spike TV, ESPN, Tru TV, and whatever other networks that PBC broadcasts on. This is a pair of good fights that will help people get to see not only someone who is a big star overseas in the United Kingdom, but also a fight with two younger guys that are making their ways though the rankings. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a LOT of improvement I feel can and should be done for PBC, but you got to look at the positives sometimes because this is boxing. Enjoy the fights.