Provodnikov: If Marquez Doesn't Fight Me - He's Afraid!

By Ryan Burton

WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov has openly campaigned for a fight against Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez ever since he picked up his title by stopping Mike Alvarado this past October.  Talks for such a fight stalled because Marquez said that he was more interested in facing Tim Bradley while Provodnikov and Bradley became finalists to be Pacquiao's next opponent.

Pacquiao ultimately decided to face Bradley in a rematch of their controversial June 2012 fight which leaves Marquez and Provodnikov without dance partners for their next fight.  Provodnikov said that he absolutely wants to face Marquez next and went as far as to say that if the four division champion turns down the fight it is because he is scared of facing the hard charging Russian.

"I think that the Pacquiao versus Bradley rematch will be interesting but it might be very similar to their first fight.  Unless Manny decides to be more aggressive and take risks, it will be hard for him to defeat Tim Bradley on the scorecards.  I am very relieved that the fight for Manny is finally finalized.  I am glad that in my next fight I will have my trainer Freddie Roach and the rest of my team in my corner, that is very, very important to me.

"Marquez now knows that Bradley is not fighting him until maybe the end of the year, and Marquez is not getting any younger, so I know that the only possible pay-per-view fight for Marquez that will draw is against me, and if he doesn't agree to the fight now I am sure he is just afraid of me," Provodnikov told

Send questions or comments to [email protected] . You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by twrx on 01-31-2014

[QUOTE=Strategic1;14190193]It would contribute to his legacy. He would legitimately claim a 140 belt by winning against an actual champion. The way he obtained his 140 title was fraudulent in a sense. He didn't face a legit champion nor did he…

Comment by Strategic1 on 01-31-2014

It would contribute to his legacy. He would legitimately claim a 140 belt by winning against an actual champion. The way he obtained his 140 title was fraudulent in a sense. He didn't face a legit champion nor did he…

Comment by FeFist on 01-31-2014

I think it is more a case of Marquez recognising that he is not worth the effort. He doesn't bring him much financially nor does he contribute to his legacy, so the effort required to beat him would be pointless.

Comment by twrx on 01-31-2014

the best should fight the best but Marquez campaigns at 147 pounds.provodnikov still hasn't proven himself at 147 pounds maybe he should win a title there and then start calling people out.

Comment by john_uphold on 01-30-2014

The best should fight the best. Simple as that. Why make excuses for Marquez as to why he shouldn't give Provodnikov the chance to fight him? Or why he would rather leave Pacman out of the mix after knocking him…

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