De La Hoya: Is Bradley-Provodnikov on ESPN?
By Chris Williams: Earlier today, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions was in the mood to tease Top Rank about matching WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) against Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO’s) on March 16th.
The 29-year-old Provodnikov is known to American boxing fans because of the many occasions his fights have been televised on ESPN rather than the premium cable networks HBO and Showtime. It’s perceived by a lot of boxing fans that the more talented fighters compete on HBO and Showtime.
De La Hoya said on his twitter “Is the Bradley fight on ESPN?”
The Bradley-Provodnikov will actually be televised on HBO, although I don’t understand why they decided to carry this fight. They must have seen as a fight that will be a competitive one because it’s not likely one that will bring in good ratings. Bradley needed to face someone better known and more talented than the light welterweight Provodnikov.
Provodnikov fights at 140, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the smaller fighter against Bradley. Provodnikov, 5’6”, and Bradley are the same height, but Provodnikov has the bigger frame and he’ll likely be the heavier fighter when they step inside the ring on March 16th.
Bradley recently bulked up in moving to 147, and it’s slowed him down a lot. He’s still faster than Provodnikov, and he moves a lot better than him too.
Bradley will likely use the ring to avoid getting in too many exchanges with Provodnikov because he’s a big puncher, and he likes to wear down his opponents. Bradley was pretty tough when he fought at 140, but at welterweight he’s not as strong on the inside as he was at light welterweight.
If Bradley tries to battle it out with Provodnikov in close, he’ll be giving him the only chance he has of winning the fight. Bradley will likely still choose to go toe-to-toe with Provodnikov at some point in the fight to show boxing fans that he’s the stronger fighter.
The chief supporting bout will be a 10 round match-up between welterweights Jessie Vargas vs. Wale Omotosu.
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