Here’s another big name who is making a ring return. “Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov, now aged 37, will return to face MMA fighter Ali Bagautinov on the 23rd of this month; so, tomorrow night.
Provodnikov only announced the bout yesterday, this on social media in Russia. This close to the fight, there is still nothing official out there regarding the length of the bout, the weight it will be fought at, etc.
Who knows what to make of this? MMA warrior Bagautinov has boxed before, the 36-year-old is 2-0 as a boxer, and he is 21-7 in MMA. Provodnikov, 25-5(18) last fought back in 2016, this a loss to John Molina Jr.
Provodnikov had looked at making a ring return in 2020, yet nothing got off the ground. It’s not known if the July 23 bout will be a one-off deal or the start of something more long-term.
In his day, Provodnikov was a beast of a fighter, an exciting ring warrior who gave us one of the greatest fights of the last 20 years or so – this his out and out war with Tim Bradley.
That fight really was one that would have lived in any era as far as thrills and spills and fan satisfaction goes (how Bradley made it through some of those hellish rounds we will never know!)
But how much has Provodnikov – who also gave us action fights with the likes of Lucas Matthysse, Mike Alvarado, DeMarcus Corley, and Emanuel Augustus – got left now at age 37? It would be interesting seeing this fight tomorrow night and hopefully, there will be some available coverage. There was a time, as we know, when Provodnikov was never in a bad fight.
Never stopped, Provodnikov joins the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Mike Tyson, and others who have recently had the urge to fight again at an advanced age, after a lengthy layoff. On paper, Provodnikov is still young enough at age 37 to do something of significance before he finally retires for good. But again, how much did that hard and punishing fights take out of him?