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Arum rules out Bradley vs. Provodnikov rematch

Timothy BradleyBy Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has no interest in match his fighter WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) back up with Banner Promotions fighter Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO’s) for a rematch, even though boxing fans want to see the two fighters go at it again after enjoying their fight last Saturday night.

Arum is satisfied with the 12 round unanimous decision that Bradley got in that fight, and he now plans on matching him with one of his Top Rank stable fighters – Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios or Mike Alvarado next.

Bradley is going to get a big payday against one of those fighters. As for Provodnikov, he’s probably not going to get a big payday for his next fight because Arum is talking about matching him against Alvarado if he loses his fight against Rios on March 30th.

Arum didn’t say anything about Provodnikov getting a fight with Rios if he loses to Alvarado because we’d likely see a third fight between Rios and Alvarado at that point because Rios is the guy that Arum seems to be trying to build up to be a big star, and he can’t afford to have Rios walk away from a loss to Alvarado without trying to get him to avenge the defeat.

Arum said to Radio Raheem “We have a lot of opponents for Ruslan, and eventually they [Bradley and Provodnikov] can fight again. I’m not one that advocates immediate rematches…If Rios fights Manny or Rios fights Bradley, if he wins the fight, Alvarado can fight Provodnikov.”

Arum says he doesn’t advocate making rematches, but then why is he putting Pacquiao in with Marquez over and over again? He’s trying to put him in with Marquez in September, and that’s definitely a rematch. Arum also has Brandon Rios facing Mike Alvarado again in a rematch on March 30th despite the fact that Rios conclusively beat Alvarado last October by a 7th round knockout. Unlike the Bradley-Provodnikov fight, there was nothing controversial about Rios’ win over Alvarado.

Arum does like rematches, but it’s not surprising he doesn’t want Bradley to fight Provodnikov again because he almost got beat, and that would have ruined his market value for fights against Pacquiao, Marquez and Rios. Just like we didn’t see a rematch between Rios and Richard Abril when Abril dominated Rios and lost the fight by a controversial 12 round split decision. If it’s good for Arum and Top Rank, he’ll make a rematch, but not when it’s a situation where his guys win by controversial decisions like Bradley and Rios.

So Provodnikov gets Alvarado if and when he loses to Rios. I’m sure the money will be too good for Provodnikov to say no to it, but it’s still got to be disappointing for him that he won’t get another shot against Bradley.

Fighting Alvarado off another loss to Rios likely won’t do a whole lot for Provodnikov’s career, but he’s going to have to take what’s given to him by Arum because he’s not going to get a second shot against Bradley or a fight with Pacquiao.

Provodnikov wasn’t supposed to give Bradley the kind of trouble he did, and he obviously surprised Arum, and there’s no way he’s going to get another shot against Bradley until Bradley has two or three losses. At that point, I can see Arum throwing Arum back in with Provodnikov in order to get anything he can from that fight because Bradley’s career will be on the serious decline once he gets beaten by Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez and/or Pacquiao.

We’re talking cash out at that point. But Provodnikov won’t be given a shot against the big money fighters Marquez and Pacquiao, no way does that happen.


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