By Bill Phanco: If you were one of the many boxing fans interested in seeing a rematch between WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) and Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO’s) in order to clear up the confusion about their fight last Saturday night, you can forget it because it’s not happening.
Bradley’s promoter Bob Arum has ruled out a rematch between the two at least for the time being. Arum does leave open the possibility of matching them up again one of these days in the future, but not until they’ve faced other guys. Arum wants to move Bradley forward and match him three potential opponents: Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez or the winner of the Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado fight.
Arum said to Radio Raheem “It doesn’t surprise me that it [Bradley vs. Prodnikov] was such a great fight because I watched Ruslan in the gym with Manny. It’s a win-win for both guys. Bradley comes out with a lot more pluses than when he came in, and Ruslan Provodnikov is now known by everybody in America. There’s lot of possibilities for fights they can have. Ruslan, we have a lot of opponents for Ruslan, and eventually they [Bradley and Provodnikov] can fight again. I’m not one that advocates immediate rematches. I don’t think Manny [Pacquiao] should take any tune-ups. He can fight one of three guys – Tim Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and the winner of Rios-Alvarado. Those aren’t tune-up fights any of them. These guys have a lot of possibilities, a lot of options. If Rios fights Manny or Rios fights Bradley, if he wins the fight, Alvarado can fight Provodnikov.”
It sounds like Provodnikov will be matched up against the loser of Rios-Alvarado. That’s probably not the fight that Provodnikov was hoping to get, especially given that he could have earned a least a draw if the referee had scored a 1st round knockdown when Bradley was out on his feet and couldn’t stand up after slipping to the canvas after eating a big right hand.
Having Provodnikov fight the loser of Rios-Provodnikov is kind of off putting because it’s not a reward for a guy that could be the WBO champion today if the referee gave Provodnikov credit for 10-8 rounds in the 1st, 2nd and 6th rounds.