Chris Algieri realized that if he was going to be a world-class boxer, he would have to stretch his boundaries beyond Long Island, N.Y.
The 30-year-old former kick boxer and current welterweight boxer started coming to Las Vegas a couple of years ago to train for fights and has maintained that posture as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career. He’ll meet Ruslan Provodnikov on June 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on an HBO-televised card.
“Long Island is not a great place to be a pro athlete,” said Algieri, who is from Huntington. “It’s very expensive, and it doesn’t make sense to train there.
“In Las Vegas, I can get everything done that I need to. There’s a great range of sparring partners to work with. The weather’s always great. I don’t have the distractions I’d have if I stayed home. It’s basically perfect.
“My last couple of camps have gone really well. I don’t know that I need to change anything.”
Algieri (19-0, eight knockouts) knows he must fight intelligently against Provodnikov (23-2 16 KOs). Nicknamed “The Siberian Rocky,” Provodnikov is one of the more rugged fighters in the division.
“We’re preparing for his pressure,” Algieri said. “We’re working on boxing and jabbing, but I know there’s going to be a point where I’m going to have to stand and fight him.”
Freddie Roach, who trains Provodnikov, said his fighter won’t overlook Algieri.
“He’s a solid boxer,” Roach said. “But he’s got flaws like everyone does, and we’re ready to expose those flaws when Ruslan gets him in the ring.”
Algieri is wrapping up his camp at Xtreme Couture MMA and will head back East this week. And while the crowd will be with him June 14, he’s going to be the underdog.
“I don’t take offense to it,” he said. “I understand it’s the nature of the business. I just use it to motivate me knowing if I beat Ruslan, bigger and better things lay ahead for me.”
■ DONAIRE WINS — Nonito Donaire won the World Boxing Association featherweight title Saturday in Macau, defeating South Africa’s Simpiwe Vetyeka by technical decision when the fight was stopped after four rounds because of a severe cut above Donaire’s left eye.
The cut, caused by an accidental head butt from Vetyeka in the first round, was a constant problem for Donaire, who struggled to see with blood flowing over his face. But he knocked Vetyeka down in the fourth with a left hook, and after the round, the referee stopped the fight. By rule, it went to the scorecards, and Donaire was ahead 39-36 on all three.
Donaire (33-2) won his fifth world title in his fourth weight class. Vetyeka fell to 26-3.
■ CANELO-LARA UNDERCARD — Golden Boy Promotions has announced the Showtime pay-per-view portion of the undercard for the July 12 main event between Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara at the MGM Grand Garden.
Featherweight Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs), a former three-division world champion, will meet Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Veteran Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs) will face Francisco Vargas (19-0-1, 13 KOs) for the World Boxing Organization international super featherweight title, also scheduled for 10 rounds.
In the first PPV bout, scheduled for 12 rounds, Johan Perez (19-1-1, 13 KOs) will defend his WBA interim junior welterweight title against Mauricio Herrera (20-4, seven KOs).
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.