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Weigh-in: Bradley vs. Provodnikov

By Dan Ambrose: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) successfully made weight on Friday coming in at 146.6 pounds for his fight tomorrow night against non-welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO’s) at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, USA.

Provodnikov, 29, also came in at an identical 146.6 lbs. HBO will be televising the fight even though it’s more of a tune-up/title milking type fight for Bradley than actual title defense in the traditional sense.

Bradley and Top Rank aren’t taking any chances of him getting beaten before he faces the bigger named Top Rank stable fighters Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. Provodnikov is someone that ensures that Bradley will stay unbeaten for a little while longer.

The undercard fight isn’t a great fight. You’ve got undefeated welterweight #5 WBA, #9 WBC, Jessie Vargas (21-0, 9 KO’s) facing #12 IBF, Wale Omotoso (23-0, 19 KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round bout.

Neither of these two fighters are future world champions in my view. Vargas can’t punch, and just moves around the ring jabbing and clinching. Omotoso is too crude and raw to compete with the top welterweights or champions.

Vargas weighed 146.6 lbs, and Omotoso came in at 146.8.

Bradley, 29, has to beat Provodnikov in able to move forward to get a hoped for rematch with Manny Pacquiao. That’s the important fight that Bradley wants because not only would it give him a big payday, but it would also give him a chance to prove that his previous win over Pacquiao last June wasn’t just a fluke thing. Bradley no doubt wants a conclusive victory to legitimize himself as the WBO champion.

Bradley was out with injuries to both feet following his win over Pacquiao, and during his time out of the ring he turned down a nice payday against Lamont Peterson because of his still not fully healed feet and also because he wasn’t interested in the rematch.

You can’t blame Bradley for not wanting that fight because Peterson has really improved since Bradley beat him in 2009, and there’s a question of whether Bradley could beat him a second time now because Bradley isn’t as fast as he was at 140. Peterson has gotten better, and Bradley looks a lot worse.

Here are the official weights on the card:

Timothy Bradley 146.6 – Ruslan Provodnikov 146.6
Jessie Vargas 146.6 – Wale Omotoso 146.8
Andy Ruiz Jr 246 – Matthew Greer 240
Jesse Magdaleno 123.4 – Carlos Fulgencio 123.6
Oscar Valdez 128 – Jose Morales 137.8
Gabino Saenz 126 – Cesar Valenzuela 125

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