Roach says he’ll give Provodnikov a fight against Pacquiao if he wants it
By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach says that he’ll set WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO’s) up with a fight against Manny Pacquiao if he wants the fight. Roach thinks he can give Provodnikov that match-up if he wants it, but if he does, he wouldn’t have Roach as his trainer because Roach be sticking with Pacquiao and would be in his corner if the two of them squared off.
Roach and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum were hoping that they could continue the never-ending Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez series by getting Marquez to agree to a 5th fight against Pacquiao for November, but with Marquez asking for $20 million to take the fight, they’re now looking at other options such as Provodnikov. Marquez wants a 50-50 purse split for a 5th Pacquiao fight, and it doesn’t look like they’re into giving it to him.
“I asked Ruslan, ‘Do you really want to make that fight [Pacquiao-Provodnikov] happen? You’re going to lose me as a trainer, and have a slim chance of winning,’” Roach said via LA Times. “Ruslan said, ‘Well, we need big fights like that.’ I said, ‘If you want it, I’ll give it to you.’”
This is funny. So now Roach is the one setting up the fights for Pacquiao instead of Arum? There’s a couple of things here besides just the aspect of Roach playing the part of Pacquiao’s promoter. First off, why wouldn’t Provodnikov want a fight against Pacquiao? Doesn’t Roach realize that Provodnikov hasn’t been making anywhere near the kind of money that he’d get for a Pacquiao fight?
Doesn’t Roach know that Provodnikov’s window as a top fighter is extremely narrow due to his small size, his tendency to get involved in wars, and his limited boxing skills? At best, Provodnikov might have another year or two as the WBO champion as long as he’s not matched up against someone that can box circles him again like Mauricio Herrera did to him in 2011.
The other thing that Roach is assuming is that Provodnikov will struggle without him as his trainer for a Pacquiao fight. I think Provodnikov will do just as well without Roach than he would with him in a fight against Pacquiao. He would have one way of beating Pacquiao and that’s to get to his chin and knock him clean out the way that Marquez did. Roach wouldn’t be able to make Provodnikov punch any harder than he would if he were trained by any other trainer.
I’m sure Provodnikov isn’t losing any sleep at the idea that he might be facing Pacquiao without Roach in his corner. If Provodnikov can’t get to Pacquiao’s chin to put him to sleep like Marquez did then it really doesn’t matter who his trainer is, because that’s his only chance of beating Pacquiao or any of the fighters that with boxing skills.
Provodnikov will be facing #13 WBO Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KO’s) this Saturday night at the Barclays center in Brooklyn, New York. I won’t be surprised at all if Provodnikov loses this fight because the blueprint in how to beat him was already created by Herrera, and Algieri is a very good boxer and more than capable of doing what Herrera and Tim Bradley did to Provodnikov.