The 30-year-old Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) last exited the ring in October after brutalizing Mike Alvarado into submission to capture the belt.
Provodnikov, who controversially lost on the cards to Timothy Bradley in March 2013, has refined his skills under the tutelage of legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
A merciless assaulter with cement fists and a granite chin, Provodnikov oozes confidence and consistently performs in peak condition.
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs) is a relatively inexperienced prizefighter who has overcome a fleet of tomato cans.
However, also an unblemished kickboxer, Algieri’s a native New Yorker who should be backed by the hometown fans.
To remain competitive, the 5-foot-11 Algieri must keep the 5-foot-6 Provodnikov at an honest distance.
Ultimately, regardless of any tactics, the “Siberian Rocky” will penetrate Algieri’s defense and land crippling strikes.
Expect Ruslan Provodnikov to knock Chris Algieri onto Queer Street inside of eight rounds roughly three weeks from tonight in the most populous of Gotham’s five boroughs.