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Provodnikov likely won’t get a rematch against Bradley

Timothy BradleyBy Eric Thomas: Despite fighting well enough to win last Saturday night, Ruslan Provodnikov’s chances of getting a rematch against WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) are slim and none after losing a close 12 round unanimous decision to Bradley.

It’s almost academic at this point that Bradley is going to take his narrow victory over Provodnikov and move on with his career, and he likely won’t look back in his rearview mirror.

This is one of those Rocky stories where Bradley picked out a guy with virtually no shot of winning the fight on paper, and he was supposed to breeze through him as a tune-up to get ready for the big money fights against his promoter Bob Arum’s top fighters – Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios.

Provodnikov fought beyond the expectations of Bradley, and obviously Bradley’s promoter Arum. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Bradley didn’t make a ton of money for the Provodnikov fight, and not even close to what he would get for a bout against one of those guys.

Boxing fans would love to see Provodnikov and Bradley fight again because right now it’s looking like their fight is going to be one of the final candidates for the fight of the year. It’s still early, but you’ve got to imagine that Bradley-Provodnikov will be in the running for the top fight of the year.

For Provodnikov’s sake, you want to see him get a second shot because there were at least three rounds where he should have been given 10-8 rounds by the judges, but instead he only got one, the 12th. There was even one of the judges that scored the 11th round for Bradley. That’s hard to believe given that the 11th seemed to be such a clear cut round for Provodnikov.

The only way we’ll see Bradley face Provodnikov again is after Bradley gets beaten by one of Arum’s fighters. At that point without the WBO title in his possession, Bradley will need someone like Provodnikov to get attention from boxing fans, and Arum will gladly make it under those circumstances, but definitely not while Bradley is still the WBO champion. You can count on Provodnikov given a wide berth by Bradley for the foreseeable future.

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