by David P. Greisman
The scene was compelling — reminiscent of the fictional Rocky Balboa searching for Adrian after the fight — except this was real, and it was the “Siberian Rocky,” Ruslan Provodnikov, calling out for his mother after he’d just stopped Mike Alvarado last October to win a 140-pound world title.
“I wanted her to share the moment,” Provodnikov told media members, through a translator, in an interview on June 7. “I wanted her to be there right next to me at that moment.”
It wasn’t the first time Provodnikov’s mother had seen him box, but it was the first time she’d seen “a real big fight of his,” he said.
“It wasn’t because of the title fight. Some people from my hometown were coming, and she wanted to go,” he said.
Except he’d rather that she and other members of his family not go to his fights at all — particularly because of what they may see him go through.
“I told her I did not want her to be there. I don’t like that. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “She decided that she has to be there and she wanted to go, so I didn’t want to make a conflict during my training camp and all that, so I just let it happen. But usually I don’t like that. I don’t like my family to be there.
“It’s just easier for me. It’s a lot easier for me to be in the ring alone, because when there’s relatives and when there’s close people or my family or my mother there, no matter how much I try not to, I worry about them as well,” he said. “I don’t only worry about what I have to do. I have to worry about them seeing what’s happening in the ring, and I don’t like that. I don’t think it’s the right thing. I don’t want to have to worry about that.
“I need to focus on the fight, especially considering the way I fight. I’m willing to give everything away in the fight. With that thought in mind, I really don’t want my parents or family there and having to worry about what they’re seeing.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at email@example.comTags: Ruslan Provodnikov