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Bradley must win in style tonight against Provodnikov

Timothy BradleyBy Dan Ambrose: Top Rank Promotions has put their fighter WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) in a situation where he’s going to have to win in style tonight against little known light welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO’s) if they don’t want Bradley’s stock to plummet any further than it already has from his highly controversial 12 round split decision win over Manny Pacquiao last June.

Bradley and Provodnikov will be fighting on HBO in front of a lot of fans when they meet tonight at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, USA.

The ratings of the fight likely won’t be that good because Bradley has little if any fan base, and the fight has gathered very little interest because of Bradley and Top Rank’s selection of Provodnikov instead of an actual welterweight contender from Bradley’s own division with the chance to beat him.

This is called cherry picking, and they’ve done a good job in finding a former Pacquiao sparring partner for Bradley to fight instead of instead of someone that would likely beat him like Keith Thurman.

With Provodnikov being such a mediocre fighter, Bradley is going to have win and win impressively if he doesn’t want to be seen as the WBO’s version of a paper welterweight champion. Bradley is going to have to avoid the head-butts because that’s been one of his problems, and he’s going to have to resist the urge to clinch incessantly. That’s another one of his problems.

If Bradley doesn’t want to put the Home Depot Center crowd asleep, as well as the nationwide audience, he’s going to have to avoid running like he did against Pacquiao. Bradley’s going to have to do what he said he was going to do and that’s fight Provodnikov in a toe-to-toe battle for as long as the fight lasts. Can Bradley do this without head-butting and clinching Provodnikov 24/7? I have my doubts.

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