By Miguel Rivera
If Ruslan Provodnikov would have agreed to face WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford instead of John Molina, he would have made a serious mistake in his career - according to his trainer Joel Diaz, who says Crawford's style of fighting would have created a big headache for the 'Siberian Rocky.'
After Terence Crawford dispatched of Hank Lundy last month, his promoter Top Rank began negotiations to secure a fight with Provodnikov (25-4, 18KOs) for the summer.
The negotiations were playing out, but then Provdonikov's side decided on another direction. They made a deal with Showtime to face John Molina (28-6, 23KOs) on June 11th at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. Crawford fights on rival network HBO.
Diaz is very familiar with Crawford. He used him to help prepare Timothy Bradley in two important training camps.
He felt the style of Crawford would have been a nightmare for his boxer, but Molina presents a far more favorable style of fighting which is going to create a lot of fireworks on television.
"Ruslan will arrive on April 10 [for training camp]. I think we made a good decision, it is a fight with more action and it's favorable to him. Ruslan is a fighter who brings the action to the opponent. A fight with John Molina is much better. He brings action, he has a good punch. It's an interesting fight for the fans," Diaz told ESPN Deportes.
"Crawford is a very smart fighter. I know him personally, and he helped me for two fights with Tim Bradley. He is very intelligent, and he would have used that intelligence to dominate Ruslan from the outside, using the distance [to control the fight]. He is not going to stand there and exchange punches."