By Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards
Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Lucas Matthysse is the perfect mix of styles. You have two high contact, punchers who are close to or in their primes. On top of that both are in need of a big win. Early on I favored Matthysse. But after some time and a little research I'm leaning towards Provodnikov. I just feel he fights with a little more urgency and he changes gears better than Matthysse.
Matthysse is a monster but he's a monster that attacks at one speed. Ruslan on the other hand has extra gears and he punches in combination a little better than Matthysse. In a war where neither guy is known for defense that will count.
Last but not least Provodnikov seems to be a little more impervious to punishment. If Ruslan face holds up I will take him in a close decision.
Terrance Crawford is the best fighter in the world no one is screaming about. He's in his physical prime and he has one of those all around games that won't get fully appreciated until he beats a mega star. Thomas Dulorme is talented but he does not seem to have the mental capacity that Crawford.
Late in fights when things get rough Crawford hones in and gets better. When the same things happen to Dolurme he comes apart. Look for Crawford to separate himself late in the fight.