SAN DIEGO, June 10, 2016 – Since his epic 2013 “Fight of the Year” against Timothy Bradley Jr., Ruslan Provodnikov has been a player in bouts on every single shortlist for “Fight of the Year” ever since. Will we get another entry in the sweepstakes Saturday?
The 32 year old former junior welterweight champion nicknamed “The Siberian Rocky,” Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs) will make his first appearance on Showtime aginast John Molina Jr. (28-6, 23 KOs) after many years appearing on HBO. His promoter felt there were more opportunities at Showtime after HBO bypassed Provodnikov as an opponent for Terence Crawford. The card begins Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York during Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend in nearby Conestota.
Molina has been in some entertaining scraps himself against opponents such as Lucas Matthysse and Mickey Bey. Provo’s resume includes Matthysse as well, in a razor thin victory for the Argentinean, along with Chris Algieri and Mike Alvarado.
Their records hardly matter, nor do the fans care about the lack of a championship on the line. In the lion’s share of fights, these two enter the ring intending to go hard and give it their all. Neither are interested in boxing. Fans love them for it. But both are getting closer to the end of their boxing careers than the start. Provodnikov is 32, Molina is 33, and every round on their records is rough and tumble. If anything is assured, whatever these two have left, they’ll give it all. The winner will get his chance against bigger name competition.
On the undercard, junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade (22-0, 15 KOs) of Providence, Rhode Island returns to the ring after two years off against against Willie Nelson (25-2-1 15 KOs) of Cleveland. Battles with promoters and contract disputes kept the talented Andrade on the sidelines, leaving fans forgetting about the 2008 Olympian’s potential.
Andrade hopes to remind people how skilled he is against Nelson, who has won his last two bouts since losing a decision to Vanes Martirosyan. The winner of this fight becomes a mandatory challenger for Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs). Andrade has bigger ambitions. He is among the few boxers who says he’d like to get in the ring with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. We’ll just see about that.
The opening bout features Dejan “Dinamite” Zlaticanin (17-0, 10 KOs) of Montenegro against Franklin Mamani of Bolivia (21-2-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBC world lightweight title. A year ago, Zlaticanin made an impressive U.S. debut with a surprising fourth round TKO over Ivan Redkach. Zlaticanin’s return is welcome and overdue. If he can repeat his last performance, he’ll have doors opening and he won’t be such a stranger to fans anymore. Mamani is making his American debut. He’s only fought once outside South America, and all against limited competition.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.
Copyright © 2016 by Falcon Valley Group