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Provodnikov waiting on Chaves-Rios winner

Brandon Rios(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/HBO) By Chris Williams: The winner of tonight’s fight between Diego Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) and Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) won’t be getting a world title shot, of course, but they could face former WBO light welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16 KOs). Top Rank is interested in matching Provodnikov against the winner of the Chaves-Rios fight.

It’s unclear whether the winner of that fight would get another crack at Manny Pacquiao, but I wouldn’t be surprised. There’s not much else for Bob Arum to match Pacquiao up against, so we could see Rios get a second shot at him if he runs the table and beats both Chaves and Provodnikov.

It would be another retread fight for Pacquiao, but that’s kind of how it’s been lately for him so there wouldn’t be any real change for him in that regard.

“I know there is a possibility that I will be back in the ring in November and the opponents being considered are the winner of Rios vs. Chaves, and the winner of Vargas vs. Novikov, as well as a rematch with Timothy Bradley,” Provodnikov said.

Jessie Vargas is one of Arum’s Top Rank fighters, so that’s a no brainer that he’d be one of the guys that Provodnikov could end up fighting. I doubt that Provodnikov would take him an opponent because it wouldn’t be as big a fight as it would be if he fought Rios. Of course, if Rios loses to Chaves, then Provodnikov would likely face Vargas because Chaves won’t bring the crowds and the ratings like the better known Rios.

The Rios-Chaves and Vargas-Novikov fights take place tonight on HBO from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The Rios vs. Chaves fight is being billed as a fight that Rios could lose, but let’s be serious here; he’s not going to lose to Chaves.

Top Rank did their homework on this fight and they picked out a smaller guy with style that Rios can beat. Just looking at how much bigger Rios is then Chaves at the weigh-in yesterday, it’s obvious that Rios is going to be too big for this guy. Chaves is going to lose the fight, and Rios will look like he’s back to where he was before he was beaten in back to back fights by Mike Alvarado and Manny Pacquiao. But the reality is that Rios is the same fighter that Alvarado beat.

The only thing that’s changed is Top Rank found a little known guy from Argentina with the same plodding style as Rios that will likely fall apart once the fight starts. Believe me, if Top Rank were to match Rios against one of the good welterweights in the division like Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Shown Porter or Devon Alexander, we’d see Rios get beaten up like he was in his last two fights.

What we’re seeing tonight in the Rios and Chaves fight is mismatch where a Rios clone in Diego Chaves faces the real thing, and he’s going to get taken apart by him.


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