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Provodnikov taking risky fight against Castillo on 11/28

José Luis CastilloBy Dan Ambrose: Former WBO 140lb champion Ruslan Provodnikov’s fight against 40-year-old former WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1, 57 KOs) on November 28th is perceived as a one-sided mismatch in the eyes of many boxing experts.


To be sure, it would seem likely that Provodnikov will wear Castillo down at some point in the fight and score a knockout. However, the fight could spell danger for Provodnikov if Castillo decides to use his boxing skills to try and win a decision rather than him going to war with Provodnikov.

If Provodnikov loses this fight, which is a distinct possibility, given how poor he looked in his recent loss to Chris Algieri, then it’s pretty much going to take the air out of Provodnikov’s career. I don’t know how Bob Arum of Top Rank can use Provodnikov if he gets beaten by Castillo. It would be Provodnikov’s third loss in his last four fights, and a pretty good indication that his career as a relevant fighter is over.

While Castillo may be nine years past his prime, he still is a far better fighter than Provodnikov in terms of his skills. Provodnikov has been out-boxed in 2 out of his last 3 fights in losses to Tim Bradley and Chris Algieri. Provodnikov was also out-boxed by Mauricio Herrera in 2011. Out of all those years, Provodnikov has beaten only one decent fighter in Mike Alvarado, and that’s a fight where Alvarado made it easy for him by coming to slug.

I’d like to think that Castillo would have the sense enough to know that he can’t come to Provodnikov and go to war with him, because that’s a recipe for disaster. I’m sure that Provodnikov and his management are hoping that Castillo will elect to fight in a toe-to-toe manner, because that would suit them. But Castillo needs to see this fight as one where he should use his brains instead of his brawn if he wants to try and win.

It’s not likely that Castillo will be able to beat Provodnikov if he slugs it out with him, because we’re talking about Provodnikov being the younger and naturally bigger fighter.


Provodnikov is 10 years younger than Castillo at 30, and he started his career at a higher weight class than Castillo.

The Provodnikov-Castillo fight will take place at the Luzhniki GCKZ “Russia” Arena in Moscow. The undercard is a pretty weak one with super featherweight Andrey Klimov vs. Gabino Cota being the most interesting fight on the undercard in my view.


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