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Bradley: We don’t know if Provodnikov is elite or not

Timothy BradleyBy Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) is taking a lot of heat for turning down a fight with Lamont Peterson and instead choosing to fight #2 WBO 140 lb. contender Ruslan Provodnilov (22-1, 15 KO’s) on March 16th in a fight that HBO has agreed to televise at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, USA.

Bradley said to Radio Raheem “We don’t know if he’s [Provodnikov] an elite fighter because this is the first time he’s fought an elite fighter. I do know he’s rated #2 [at 140], which is a great, great spot for him, and he’s earned this opportunity. He has one loss on his resume, he’s fought great opposition.”

I think Bradley is kidding if he’s talking about Provodnikov being an elite fighter because elite fighters don’t lose badly to Mauricio Herrera like Provodnikov, and elite fighters don’t beat journeyman like DeMarcus Corley by controversial decisions. Elite fighters are expected to easily beat the Corleys and Herrera type fighters, and Provodnikov clearly failed the test.

Bradley says he wants to be active in 2013, and plans on making up for lost time by fighting three to four times this year.

Bradley said “The thing is to stay busy and staying in the public eye. I want to fight 3 or 4 times this year. Fighting two times a year isn’t pleasing for me. You could see me back in the ring in three or four months. Everyone likes a face first type of fighter, and he’s going to bring that intensity that will make a fan friendly fight, bring the intensity as well.”

If Bradley wanted an intense opponent then why didn’t he fight an HBO fighter like Marcos Maidana instead? At least Maidana is a welterweight and not a light welterweight like Provodnikov. Maidana is also a former world champion. I can’t see Provodnikov ever capturing a world title at 140.

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