HBO happy to televise Bradley-Provodnikov bout if fight gets made
By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) was hoping that his first title defense of his World Boxing Organization crown would be a big paying return bout against Manny Pacquiao, but that idea went up in smoke when Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum decided to match his little cash cow Pacquiao back up with Juan Manuel Marquez in a fourth fight between them that would make more money than a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch.
With Pacquiao off the table, Bradley is now left with the following choices for his next fight on December 15th: Ruslan Provodnikov, Robert Guerrero and Lamont Peterson. Guerrero, a Golden Boy Promotions fighter, is still in the running for the Bradley fight but it’s still unclear whether the two promotional companies will be able to put this fight together or not by December 15th. One fighter that will be easy to make for Bradley is the 28-year-old Russian born Provodnikov.
He’s easy because he fights for Banner Promotions and not Golden Boy. He’s not likely to ask for a ton of money because he’s still a largely unknown fighter in the U.S. and best of all HBO approves of him fighting Bradley, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Of course, I’m sure HBO would say yes in a second to Pacquiao vs. Guerrero, but like I said, Guerrero fights for Golden Boy and Bradly is will Top Rank.
The 5’6″ Provodikov isn’t ranked in the welterweight division. However, he’s ranked #2 by the WBO and that’s all that seems to matter nowadays when making a fight between guys from division weight classes. If a promoter chooses a guy that is a division below his champion to fight it’s pretty much a done deal as long as the fighter fights for the same sanctioning body in the division below. It’s probably not fair to the welterweights that are ranked in the top 15 by the WBO in the welterweight division if Provodnikov, a light welterweight, is allowed to leap frog them to fight Bradley for a title but that’s boxing.
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