Golovkin picks Pacquiao to easily beat Provodnikov
By Chris Williams: WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin likes fellow Russian fighter Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO’s) a lot, but as far him having a chance to beat Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO’s) in their proposed fight on April 12th in Las Vegas, Golovkin doesn’t see Provodmikov as having any chance of beating Manny. Golovki doesn’t explain why he feels this way. He just thinks Pacquiao will easily beat the hard hitting Provodnikov.
“You know, I know Ruslan,” Golovkin said to Hustleboss. “I respect him. I think he’s nothing for Manny. He doesn’t have a chance. He’s [Pacquiao] come back. It’s great.”
I’m glad Golovkin explained it in kind terms for Ruslan. I think Golovkin is kind of selling Provodnikov short here. A Pacquiao-Provodnikov fight would not be an easy fight for Pacquiao at all, not at his age at 35. It might have been an easier fight 5 years ago when Pacquiao was younger, faster and quicker on his feet. But this is a Pacquiao with a lot of mileage on him, and a chin that is still very questionable.
You can’t really count Pacquiao’s last fight against Brandon Rios, because that guy is really little more than a pumped up lightweight who ate his way out of the 135 lb. division rather than grew his way out of it. Rios was just a fat welterweight with a lightweight’s body underneath the fat, and with no hand speed. Provodnikov is a welterweight who is capable of fighting at light welterweight. He’s got a lot of power, and if he catches Pacquiao with one of his hard shots like Juan Manuel Marquez did, then this fight will be over immediately.
You really can’t say that Pacquiao has come back from his knockout loss to Marquez, because he hasn’t faced a live body since that loss. Rios is just another one of Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters, who had already been exposed by a very, very limited Mike Alvarado in his previous fight, and had been schooled badly by Richard Abril in 2012. Rios couldn’t even beat Abril or Alvarado, so it’s not as if Pacquiao was facing a good opponent in facing Rios. You cannot say that Pacquiao is back until he faces someone of talent, and Provodnikov is close to being that. He’s not as good as guys like Keith Thurman, but he might be good enough to knock Pacquiao out cold on April 12th and send him off into retirement.