By Luke Furman
Former WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov admits that a ring return, at this point, is highly unlikely.
Provodnikov, only 33 years old, has been out of the ring since June of 2016, when he suffered a unanimous decision loss to John Molina. The contest was Provodnikov's Showtime televised debut, and the loss derailed some major plans for the boxer.
The 'Siberian Rocky' was a big fan favorite for his all-action style in the ring, but he also took a lot of punishment during his fights with Tim Bradley, Mike Alvarado, Lucas Matthysse and others.
After the loss to Molina, he was 3-4 in his last seven outings in the ring.
Since December 2016, Provodnikov has kept himself very busy outside of the ring with several ventures - including a political career in Russia that is quickly taking off.
While the tough slugger is still often seen at ringside during the major events in Russia, he says the desire is no longer there - even when he's ringside watching competitive fights.
"Who knows [what could happen in the future], there may be an offer that will be interesting to me. While I attend boxing events and fights - I understand that I do not have the desire to enter the ring. I am more comfortable outside the ring, when I'm there as a guest. I train for pleasure, for myself, for fun, I work so much, I get up almost every day at 4 am. I do not have enough time [in the day], but I feel it necessary, I have something to do," Provodnikov said to Vasily Konov.
"I'm happy right now. When would I reach the point of no return? Honestly, I do not know, but probably I'm already there in principle. It is probably unlikely that I will return to the ring."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.