Russian Rocky

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Who’s next for Provodnikov?

By Paul Ready

Ruslan Provodnikov stopped Mike Alvarado after 10 rounds of brutal boxing on Saturday evening. Alvarado was pulled out at the end of the 10th by his corner. It was an edge of your seat fight; I needed the toilet, but refused to leave my sofa.

It felt like I was in the playground at school. Two toughest kids in your year squaring off, you couldn’t blink for fear of missing the action. All that was missing was “FIGHT, FIGHT” chants.

What I like about Provodnikov is that he is a true warrior, a word often overused these days along with legend. But he epitomises it in every aspect.

Reminiscent of an Ancient Roman Gladiator, minus a shield and sword. He thrives on being in a gruelling battle, relishes receiving punishment as much as he enjoys prescribing it.

After boxing more like Ivan Drago than Rocky in the encounter, it begs the question who is next for Provodnikov?
Let’s look at some of the potential opponents and some mouth-watering match-ups…

Danny Garcia
(27-0: 16 KO’s).

Defeated Lucas Matthysse on “The One” card last month. Mooted as one of Mayweather’s final four. But appears he’s had Amir Khan cut the queue in front of him for now. Good job he didn’t cut Angel as he would have got his arse kicked!
This fight would be the toughest for Provodnikov. Garcia is a P4P top 5 fighter. One of the most underrated fighters in the world in my eyes. Whilst the Russian Rocky could trouble him with his power, I feel that Danny is a more intelligent fighter and would win a comfortable split decision.

Brandon Rios
(33-1: 23 KO’s)

Rios who is due to face Pacquiao next month in Macau, has won and lost to Alvarado over the past 12 mths.
Whilst it would be foolish to look beyond Pacquiao as his next opponent, it does conjure up exciting thoughts of the prospect of Rios v Provodnikov.
Rios v Alvarado I was voted Fight of 2012 by Sports Illustrated and a match up with the Russian Rocky would certainly be a contender next year. Two monstrous punchers and the guarantee that they would go toe to toe for the full 12 rounds, if it went that far.
This would certainly be one of my top choices regardless of the outcome of the Pacquiao fight.
The winner? I might shade the youth of Rios, but it could easily go the other way.

Manny Pacquiao
(61-5-2: 38 KO’s)

8 weight world champion winning 10 titles. Pacquiao is one of my favourite fighters of the past 10 yrs. He has suffered two back to back defeats to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Bradley was a contentious split decision, Marquez, there was no argument after he flattened Pacquiao in the 6th.

Pacquiao due to fight the Rios next month, you question how hungry he is to still box at the highest level and how many “wars” he has left in the tank.

If the answer to the above is none to the wars, especially after Rios, then he needs to steer clear of Provodnikov as he will get folded up like a freshly pressed pair of trousers.

This would be a fight I’d love to see, but I don’t believe they would pit him against a stable mate. Freddie Roach has already quashed the prospect of this encounter by describing them as “Good friends”.

Shame. Big shame. Maybe they should sell tickets to them sparring at Wild Card?

Lucas Matthysse
(34-3: 32 KO’s)

The Machine, lost to Danny Garcia last month. Has a frightening KO record, is my number 1 choice to face Provodnikov.

Why?

Call me old fashioned, but there is nothing like two guys beating the hell out of each other in the middle of the ring.

Nothing.

This fight would last 5 rounds maximum. We may as well host it in Rome, The Colosseum the perfect venue.

Get them both to ride out on a horse, covered head to toe in Gladiator attire.

A complete sell out.

The result?

I genuinely wouldn’t care who won, as boxing would be the winner.

The only slight, small, tiny issue, is the Golden Boy/Top Rank cold war.

Come on guys, look at these match-ups that can be made.

You’ll make a ton of cash, the public will adore you.
Just kiss and make up?

Pretty Please?

@PaulReady
@EliteBoxingBlog

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