By Steve Kim
Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16KOs) is scheduled to fight in Russia on November 28th in what is considered a stay-busy fight. There has been a lot of speculation over just who he would be facing in his homecoming. Offers had been made to the likes of Maurcio Herrera and Zab Judah but does it look like that 'the Siberian Rocky' will be facing the shopworn Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1, 57KOs), as has been speculated?
"The answer is yes," confirmed promoter, Artie Pelullo, who's company Banner Promotions represents Provodnikov.
"There's a couple of things," explained Pelullo, in a fight that will surely be criticized," We've offered the fight to legitimate opponents and they have turned down the fight for good money. So when it came to a choice of Jose Luis Castillo or Julio Diaz or somebody of that ilk, they went with Jose Luis Castillo because he's a bigger name and it was my recommendation that we go a different road but at the end of the day we went for that road.
Pelullo says that substantial 'six-figure' offers had been made to Herrera (who is facing Jose Benavides on December 13th on HBO) and Judah but were rebuffed despite the promises of bringing in neutral officials.
"I just think they don't want to fight (Ruslan) because the problem we're having is that he is a murderous puncher and a lot of guys wont fight him."
The veteran promoter says that he must offer this fight to HBO but he added,"I believe ESPN will take it."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.