Provodnikov: Bradley had nowhere to run
By Allan Fox: Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO’s) gave a really good effort last Saturday night in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California.
Provodnikov walked through everything that Bradley threw, and was able to hurt him and knock him down in the 12th round. It was a fight that was determined ultimately on the referee Pat Russell failing to score a 1st round knockdown of Bradley where he hit the deck after being hurt by Provodnikov.
Provodnikov said after the fight that he wasn’t surprised that Bradley chose to stand and fight with him instead if moving because he saw him as not being able to escape his pressure. Provodnikov told the Boxing Channel “I was not surprised, but he had nowhere to run. I was right next to him the entire fight. That was the plan and that’s what happened. He had nowhere to run.”
Bradley was able to avoid taking punishment from Provodnikov in rounds 3-5 & 7-10, but he was caught repeatedly in rounds 1, 2, 6, 10 & 12 by Provodnikov. Bradley’s movement definitely helped him, but it seemed more like he was helped by the fact that Provodnikov looked like he had worn himself down in the 2nd round when he punched himself out after staggering Bradley and knocking him to the ropes.
That should have been a 10-8 round because Bradley was staggering for most of the round, and just on shaky ground. Some referees would have halted the fight, but the referee working let it go and it was a just a normal 10-9 round for Provodnikov.
Provodnikov showed great power when he was throwing punches from medium distance, but when he was crowded by Bradley, he wasn’t able to generate the same kind of punching power. In many of the rounds, Bradley used a variety of techniques to avoid getting hit with Provodnikov’s best shots such as holding, crowding him, moving constantly, and throwing lots of arm punches.
Provodnikov was unable to get his punches off in the rounds where Bradley was averaging 100 punches thrown. It didn’t matter that he was just throwing arm shots, they were still keeping Provodnikov from loading up like he had in the first two rounds.