By Edward Chaykovsky
If trainer Freddie Roach had a choice, he would have Manny Pacquiao face Ruslan Provodnikov on April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Provodnikov, along with WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, are the two fighters being considered to face Pacquiao.
Bradley won a controversial twelve round split decision over Pacquiao in 2012. Provodnikov, who Roach also trains, was used by Pacquiao as a sparring partner in the past. If the fight comes together, Provodnikov would have to hire a new trainer.
Roach feels Bradley will stay on toes and make the rematch a very ugly fight to watch, whereas Provodnikov will come forward all night and pursue a knockout victory.
"I want Manny to look good in his next fight, and I think maybe [rumored foe] Tim Bradley wants too much money. Plus I think he will run all night and make for a poor showing for Manny," said Roach to scribe Michael Woods. "Ruslan Provodnikov is a better fight for Manny. They are good friends, though."
"I'm trying not to make it happen, but to be honest, it's probably the best fight for Manny. I've seen them spar many times and it is competitive."