Ruslan Provodnikov’s new trainer, Joel Diaz, believes that if his Siberian charge was to rematch his old fighter Timothy Bradley, then this time he wins by knockout.
Diaz has recently split from WBO 147 champ, Bradley, whom he had guided since day one of his pro career, and was in his corner for the American’s 2013 fight with Provodnikov, in which he won a hugely entertaining and hard fought decision in which both fighters absorbed a lot of punishment.
As Diaz is overseeing Provodnikov’s quest to avenge his former defeats and recapture a world title, he feels well enough placed to claim Provodnikov will have the necessary tools to knock Bradley out if they fight again.
“This was a fight to get him back after the tough fights,” he said of Provodnikov’s low-key comeback win over little known Jesus Rodriguez in Monte Carlo earlier this month.
“We had a strategy of working on defense and body punches. He did a little more of that than he did in previous fights. It will take a couple of fights to get him to where I want.
“After the fight, he said he wanted to redeem his losses to Matthysse, Bradley and Herrera. I like that, and there are other opponents, such as Danny Garcia. That would be a great fight because they are both heavy hitters.”
Yet it is Bradley who remains top priority for Provodnikov, given ‘Desert Storm’ holds the WBO welterweight title, a belt Diaz feel the Russian is more than capable of taking, irrespective of the lauded hook-up between Bradley and new trainer, Teddy Atlas.
“If they rematch it would be a tough fight,” Diaz said. “After the first fight, everybody knows that Bradley was scarred from the bout. Bradley was damaged, and in a rematch, that is what Bradley would be thinking about and he would not be focused. Ruslan would take the initiative and knock him out.”
“My goal for next year is to avenge my losses to Lucas Matthysse, Mauricio Herrera, Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri, ” Provodnikov added, confirming his trainers assertions.