by Tamas Pradarics
If we had to find a fighter who's had a true Rocky Balboa type of career, we would come up with the name of Ruslan Provodnikov. He is a blood and guts warrior who became a key name for HBO's airwaves with his brutal performance in a controversial decision loss to Timothy Bradley in the spring of 2013.
It was his determination and pure heart that secured him televised positions against fighters like Mauricio Herrera, Bradley, Mike Alvarado, Chris Algieri, Lucas Matthysse, and John Molin.
Unfortunately the relentless wars seemed to make their toll on Provodnikov’s mental state, and so he struggled to deliver in his last fight against Molina and lost a lopsided decision over twelve rounds.
BoxingScene.com caught up with Ruslan’s manager Vadim Kornilov, who discussed the latest with “The Siberian Rocky."
“Everything is great. He's was elected into the senate in his region of Kanty Mansiysk Russia back in September,” Vadim said. “For now he is waiting for any good offers and spending the time to help his people back at home.”
Ruslan has received some offers for his return. Kornilov said there were some negotiations but nothing materialized yet, because Provodnikov has yet to fully decide when he is willing to lace up the gloves again.
“This would be a question for our promoters. All I can say is that there were discussions in the past couple of months, but they were not concrete and Ruslan was not ready to give an answer before the end of the year on when he is interested in fighting again.”
Wars that Provodnikov had against Bradley or Matthysse could really melt the character of a pugilist.
“I think that these types of fights did take away from Ruslan. He is the type of person that can never really be demolished, but he is not a robot and they still took a lot away from him. These were not fights, they were wars, and unfortunately wars leave a scar on a person mentally as well as physically,” Kornilov said.
The manager, however, is still positive Ruslan could get the big fights once he is ready to dance again. He says the all-out style made Provodnikov a must see attraction who’s fights always bring great ratings on cable television.
“He is still a very popular figure in boxing, Ruslan's matches still have shown very high ratings and have attracted a lot of attention every time,” Kornilov said.
“I think he still has that type of popularity even now. I think that if it was announced that Ruslan is fighting Timothy Bradley in a rematch or he is fighting Brandon Rios at the StubHub for example - it would be a sold out event and it would provide for higher ratings for the networks than most fights this year. I might be wrong, but I strongly believe this.”