After having been passed over by Top Rank for a big money fight against Manny Pacquiao on April 12th, WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO’s) is in a really tough spot in terms of him trying to land a big fight or even an just a halfway interesting fight. Provodnikov’s No.1 challenger Juan Manuel Marquez isn’t interested in fighting him, and feels that it’s not a fight that would be great challenge for him due to Provodnikov having a title that he recently had in his possession.
Provodnikov’s other options is a fight against Brandon Rios, but that’s something that likely won’t happen due to Rios’ suspension. Rios isn’t ranked in the top 15 at 140 any longer, so that’s not an option for Provodnikov.
Provodnikov is expected to be back in the ring in April, but he’ll likely get stuck with the type of opponent that will do nothing for him. He’s got one fight left on his option with Top Rank, and it’s too bad that he’ll have probably have to make a simple title defense against one of his little known contenders instead of a decent name.
With Provodnikov fighting on HBO, he’s not able to get the interesting fights against top light welterweights like Lamont Peterson, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia, and Zab Judah. It would be great for Provodnikov’s career if he could get one of those guys instead of being stuck fighting the likes of Karim Mayfield, Mike Alvarado [again], or possibly a unification fight against Khabib Allakhverdiev. There’s just not much out there for him at this time.
Provodnikov needs to start fighting on Showtime to be able to get access to the top guys from Golden Boy. If he’s going to stay on HBO, then he should try and see if Top Rank will give him Pacquiao fight. If not, then he’ll be much better off going after Golden Boy’s top 140 pounders once he completes the one fight that he last left with Top Rank. Provodnikov is with Banner Promotions, and that’ll make it a lot easier for him to get fights against GBP’s best light welterweights.