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Timothy Bradley is Warned Not To Overlook Provodnikov

By Keith Idec

Ruslan Provodnikov’s promoter knows what skeptics are saying about his fighter.

He warned them during a recent press conference in Los Angeles to avoid underestimating an extremely hungry challenger Art Pelullo promised will truly test Timothy Bradley on March 16. The 29-year-old Provodnikov is 22-1, including 15 knockouts, but the resilient Russian contender will be a big underdog against the unbeaten Bradley in their HBO main event, a 12-round fight for Bradley’s WBO welterweight title in Carson, Calif.

“He trains in a city called Ekaterinburg,” Pellulo said. “It’s a 24-hour ride by train from his home. It’s in the most northern part of Siberia. So he knows what this means. He understands that he’s [on] the big stage. He understands that it’s a great opportunity and they don’t come often.

“And I told him, ‘At every stage of every fighter’s career, you must win a fight you’re not supposed to win.’ He’ll be a major underdog with the critics, but not with the boxing people. With the oddsmakers. But at the end of the day it’s a great fight.”

The low-profile Provodnikov has strictly been an ESPN-level fighter and wasn’t mentioned until recently as a potential opponent for Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs, 1 NC), of Palm Springs, Calif. Despite his record, Provodnikov has been blasted as a disappointing alternative among fight fans to Lamont Peterson and Yuriorkis Gamboa, two of the most prominent opponents Bradley has considered fighting since his heavily disputed, split-decision defeat of Manny Pacquiao on June 9 in Las Vegas.

He did, after all, lose a 10-round unanimous decision to Mauricio Herrera (18-3, 7 KOs) two years ago in Las Vegas. The aggressive Provodnikov does, however, usually provide entertainment in the ring.

“He’s very, very television-friendly,” Pellulo said. “You’re going to love him. I know most of the writers know him. He doesn’t know how to do anything but come at you. Tim Bradley is a great fighter, a great champion. And it was great of him and [manager] Cameron [Dunkin] to give us the opportunity.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by -Kev- on 02-12-2013

[QUOTE=Bushbaby;13022770]It's just good to see Bradley back in action. Going to top rank has been the biggest mistake of his career.[/QUOTE] He probably doesn't feel that way, despite being inactive for a while. In two fights with Top Rank, Casamayor…

Comment by mathed on 02-12-2013

[QUOTE=jbpanama;13027685]Bad Brad is a Cat that uses his "Head"!!![/QUOTE] Funny though that the only "headbutt" in any of Tim's last few fights came from Pac attempting to head clash Tim. I hope Tim battle rams Ruslan's face with his head…

Comment by jbpanama on 02-12-2013

[QUOTE=jbpanama;13023434]Styles make Fights, and this should be a good one!!! I like Bad BRAD in this one , by Head-Butt KO!!![/QUOTE] Bad Brad is a Cat that uses his "Head"!!!

Comment by jbpanama on 02-12-2013

[QUOTE=mathed;13025069]29-0 son, Tim stays winning :beerchug:[/QUOTE] Truly an Amazing Fact, given the fact that Pac Kicked his A$$..... I can't complain, I bet Bad Brad at 1/5, but would have perferred a Draw, at 1/25. Brad brings no interest or…

Comment by mathed on 02-11-2013

[QUOTE=jbpanama;13023439]Pac hasen't anything to prove....He already Beat Bad Brad!!![/QUOTE] 29-0 son, Tim stays winning :beerchug:

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