By Gregory Stangrit

WBO junior welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16KOs) has changed his mind about facing eight division king Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38KOs) on April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Initially Provodnikov rejected the possibility of such a fight, because the two boxers are friendly, have sparred several times in the past and more importantly they are both trained by Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach.

"The chances are good that we will meet Pacquiao on April 12. As you know, I originally did not want to fight with the Filipino, because we both trained under the guidance of Freddie Roach. Then, while I was on vacation at a resort - I carefully thought about the situation. And I decided that if fate is giving me the opportunity, then I need to use it. To refuse a fight with such a great boxer is stupid. I've always wanted to fight with the best - and Pacquiao is at the top of the ceiling. I'm confident in myself. There is no doubt that I can have real fight with him," Provdonikov said.

"But the most preferred opponent for me is Juan Manuel Marquez. I know that negotiations are being conducted with him. But if he refuses, then I have to fight with Pacquiao. It will be necessary to look for a new coach, because if a fight with Manny takes place, then Freddie Roach, of course, will side with him."

Gregory Stangrit covers boxing for