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Roach: Provodnikov is well prepared for Bradley

provodnikov5By Allan Fox: Trainer Freddie Roach believes that his fighter light welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO’s) has dramatically improved since he was beaten by Mauricio Herrera two years ago in a 12 round unanimous decision loss.

Herrera is now the sparring partner for WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s), who Provodnikov will be facing this Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, USA.

Roach said to RingTV, “I think he [Provodnikov] is a different fighter than the one that lost. We got the best sparring partners we could to emulate Bradley. We spent a lot of money going out and getting the right guys.”

Bradley is definitely beatable. If the well-worn Manny Pacquiao was able to get the better of Bradley last year in their fight in June, then you’ve got to figure that Provodnikov has a real chance of pulling off an upset because Bradley looked nothing fancy in that fight.

Bradley essentially moved around a lot, and then picked spots to attack when Pacquiao wasn’t fighting hard. Once Bradley realized that Pacquiao was taking off the first two and a half minutes of every round, then Bradley knew he could steal rounds that way by being active during those portions of the round, and then backing off in the last 30 seconds when Pacquiao would go on the attack mode.

Provodnikov likely won’t be looking to take time off in every round like Pacquiao. He’ll be attacking nonstop, and Bradley will have to show that he can stand in there and trade with him. If he runs, like he did in the fight with Pacquiao, then he’ll lose too many rounds that way. Bradley will have to stand and trade and show that he can beat Provodnikov at his own game.

That may be hard to do because Bradley is looking slower since moving up to 147 and putting on a lot of weight. He caught a break last time against Pacquiao because he really wasn’t pushing him, but Provodnikov will definitely be putting a lot of pressure on Bradley the entire fight. Bradley may still win, but it’s probably going to be a tougher fight than he expected.

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