By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
Carson, California (March 16th, 2013)–When Timothy Bradley decisioned Manny Pacquiao, whether you agree with the decision or not, Bradley’s stock rose into the mix of world class fighters. Critics such Kevin Iole of Yahoo criticize Bradley’s decision to take on Pacquiao sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov in defense of his World Boxing Organization World Welterweight title today at Home Depot Center in Carson, California, courtesy Top Rank Incorporated, Banner Promotions and La Cerveza Tecate. Provodnikov is an unknown.
The critics are wrong. Bradley’s fight against Provodnikov is the right fight.
Bradley versus Provodnikov Press conference on YouTube
Bradley versus Provodnikov Weigh-In on YouTube
Bradley, now 29-0, 12 knockouts, is a world class fighter bent on both accomplishment and activity. He wants to fight the best rather than ducking them. After beating Pacquiao, Bradley is likely to make short work of the overhyped Russian Provodnikov, 22-1 with fifteen knockouts.
Provodnikov’s eighth round stoppage of the limited 15-0 Ivan Popoca, and his 12 round decision win over DeMarcus Corley (a 20 loss fighter) are not substantive enough to valid this step up fight. Provodnikov stopped David Torres, 21-3-2. However Torres had won only one of his previous six bouts against ‘A’ level opposition, negating his winning record. After losing to Mauricio Herrera for the International Boxing Federation North Amewrican Light Welterweight title, Provodnikov went after WBC and WBO regional belts, most recently the WBO Inter-Continental belt, to win a chance at the WBO World title belt.
Bradley is clearly a fighter in the process of evolving to a higher order. Nobody in the welterweight division will defeat him, including Danny Garcia, nor Pacquiao in a rematch, nor Juan Manuel Marquez, nor Saul Alvarez at the higher weight of 154 light middleweight if and when Bradley leaves the 148 pound welterweight division.
Bradley is headed straight to an aging Floyd Mayweather, who inactivity and age will provide a hindrance against a consistent performing fighter like Bradley, if Floyd is not careful and waits too long to fight a fighter like this, Robert Guerrero not withstanding.
Bradley will come forward and manhandle Provodnikov, putting on mighty pressure, and outworking him to death. Provodnikov will never be able to get set to deliver his punches, and will be forced on the mad defensive and take too many head shots. Worse, if Bradley gets inside (both fighters are 5’6″) he can do a lot of damaging body work and wear Provodnikov down. The Pacquiao camp thinks if Provodnikov can get the belt, then Provodnikov the sparring partner can fight Pacquiao. It’ll never happen that way. Bradley will throw in enough power shots to wake the dead, let alone outclass Provodnikov and send him back to Russia.
Prediction: Timothy Bradley KO 9 Ruslan Provodnikov (Main Event)
Prediction: Jessie Vargas Win 10 Wale Omotoso (Preliminary Bout to Main Event)