Ruslan Provodnikov: "Herrera came out like a man and said we should have a rematch"

by Geoffrey Ciani - This week's 108th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with highly regarded junior welterweight prospect Ruslan Provodnikov (17-1, 11 KOs) who recently just suffered the first loss of his professional career at the hands of Maurcio Herrera (16-1, 7 KOs). Harris was awarded a somewhat controversial decision in a fight many observers felt Provodnikov deserved to win. Provodnikov spoke about his performance, talked about the possibility of a rematch, and also provided opinions on upcoming fights such as Pacquiao vs. Mosley and Bradley vs. Alexander. Here is some of what he had to say:

His thoughts on losing a controversial decision against Mauricio Herrera:

“I would like to say that after the fight we were a little bit disappointed because we felt like we won the fight. It was definitely a disappointment. Being unbeaten and coming into a fight that we felt we had won fighting on our promoter’s show and everything, it just felt very disappointing to lose like that. Then after a day or two we got home. We watched the fight that was recorded. I kind of felt like I could have done a lot more than I did. It was a close fight. I still felt it was my fight. I felt I won, but I should have done a lot more being the unbeaten fighter and being the fighter that was the favorite in the fight. I could have done something else, maybe added a little bit in preparations, maybe added a little bit in the fight. It’s boxing. You just never know what could have been done, but there was something that wasn’t there, something that wasn’t enough. Maybe it was the fact that Herrera was able to neutralize some things or maybe it’s just that I thought that fight wasn’t going to be as hard. I just want my fans to know I try to do everything I can to make them happy."

Regarding how interested he is in having a rematch against Mauricio Herrera:

“I’m definitely trying to fight for the rematch. I mean again, I don’t want to discredit him. He did everything he could in the fight and I want to give the fighter credit, but I feel like this was definitely an unexpected decision even though, all the credit to him, but I still feel like I won the fight. It was a fight for a vacant title. I was winning by like four or five rounds on the ESPN scorecards, on Teddy Atlas’s scorecard. I know I talked to many fans and I talked to some of the ringside people scoring the fight, like critics and some of the writers, and everybody had the fight for me. The only thing that was a problem was the eleventh and twelfth round, but that was controversial as well, because the belt was vacant and it’s not like I was trying to take the belt away from him. So it should be really fair scoring. It should be round by round. I mean they shouldn’t just because of the eleventh and twelfth round given the fight to the other guy. I mean he fought like a warrior and I have to give it to him, but I think he knows and I think ESPN knows with their scorecard and all of the fans know there should be a rematch. I have to get a chance. After the fight he came up to us and said we got to get a rematch. We were both in the hospital getting x-rays and stuff, but Herrera came out like a man and said we should have a rematch because it was controversial and stuff. So that’s something. You can respect that in the man because he knows what he’s saying. He wants to prove to himself and his fans that he won the fight so he’s looking for the rematch and we got to make it happen. We’re working on it and our promoters are talking about it because it’s something that everybody wants.”

On whether he was surprised Mauricio Herrera had success neutralizing him and whether he believes he can overcome that in a rematch:

“I just want to say that I was definitely surprised. I have a lot of experience, but maybe I didn’t have all of the experience that I should have. Any person, especially any boxer, learns from his mistakes and I think maybe I made some mistakes in preparation for this fight. I realize now I have to be able to change. There are all of these fights of mine on-line. I mean you could probably find any one of my fights on-line and watch it. I mean that’s what they did. I feel that’s what they did and they found ways to neutralize some of my harder punches in order to survive and jab with me and that’s exactly what he did. On the other hand, we were only able to find one or two of his fights and in those fights he was the dominant fighter. So it looked like he was having an easy time but it didn’t look like he was doing everything right. I mean we couldn’t really get all of the information about him. He had all the information about us and knew exactly what we were going to do. I have the power punches, and for a power puncher it’s not as easy to box around, but I feel if I have a rematch I will have totally different preparations for the fight and I feel like I can change.”

His the upcoming fight between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander as well as the fight with Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley:

“As far as Devon Alexander against Bradley, I was asked about that a lot before my fight and I’ve said it’s a very interesting fight for me. I was looking at my career to eventually fight one of them in the near future. Of course I had a setback now and I have to think about my own fights, but I said before the fight that I thought it would be Alexander. I would think that he would have the better chance. They’re both great movers and great boxers and both can do a lot in the ring and that’s going to make a great fight, but I think Alexander might be a little stronger which can give you an advantage. As far as Pacquiao and Mosley, I just want to say that Mosley is a warrior. He’s had all the comebacks and no matter what his age is we never know what to expect from him. I wouldn’t write him off. There’s always a chance. Obviously Pacquiao is the favorite and his confidence is above 1,000% right now. You can’t take that away from him. He’s going to be confident. He’s going to be ready like always, but you never know. Mosley is the type of fighter that has given us comebacks and you never know what to expect from him.”

On how he hopes to rebound following the first loss in his professional boxing career:

“Obviously it’s a setback. It’s my first loss. When his hand got raised in the ring the emotions I just felt really bad. Obviously the first thing I thought was this was a huge disappointment. We prepared. I got hit in the face and then I got it taken away from me. It just doesn’t feel good and that was the first time I felt that. I was thinking maybe this is it. Maybe it’s all over, because after this type of judging where I felt like I won the fight right there in the ring, I felt maybe my career was over. Maybe there is nothing else. Then what actually got me back, after reading all the articles and all the sites and after hearing what they said about me on ESPN when I was watching the fight over, I felt like I had to come back and prove myself. I realized that after a couple of days and I think that’s important now. I feel like a burning desire to comeback and if I get a fight with Herrera or with anyone else, I just want to prove that I’m a lot better than what I was in the ring with Herrera. I could do a lot better. Sometimes a person, especially a boxer, needs a disappointment like this in their career so they can come back and realize they are not as hungry as they were in the beginning of their careers. Maybe I needed this, because now I feel totally different and I’m going to come into the fight on a different level. Now that I feel all the support from my fans in the United States and from ESPN, I know they love to have me on the shows and stuff. Even after this fight I still heard that they want to see me again. They also said maybe I could have done more, they expected more, but no matter what they still want to see me and that gives me the hope and the desire to comeback and prove to them that I can still give a great fight.”

To his fans and the listeners of On the Ropes Boxing Radio:

“I want to say thank you to all my fans in the United States, and everybody from the radio show who is supporting me with this interview, and all the people that are writing articles about me, and all my fans who are rooting for me and enjoying my fights. That just gives me a reason to go on and fight and that’s been a reason for all my fights here. I never thought that in the United States that a fighter from Russia could have so much support, and I feel like getting more of it than many other boxers who are from out of country. When there comes a time for the rematch I hope everybody is going to be there watching the fight and I’ll prove to everybody that I could still be the 70% power body punching fighter, which was my statistics in the fights before my last fight. Obviously in the last fight it was different, there was not a lot of body punching, but I know my fans love me for my power punching and my body punches and I will try to see if I can do more of it than I did before and make all of my fans excited and enjoy my fights. So thank you very much for all the support!”



For those interested in listening to the Roger Mayweather interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and forty-four minutes into the program.


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Article posted on 20.01.2011

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