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Provodnikov defeats Rodriguez – results

LatestBy Dan Ambrose: #4 WBC, #4 WBO light welterweight contender Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs) made easy work of previously unbeaten Mexican prospect Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (14-1, 11 KOs) in stopping him in the 4th round on Saturday night at the Salle des Étoiles, in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Provodnikov, 31, hurt the 23-year-old Rodriguez with a right hand that staggered him. Referee Stanley Christodoulou then gave Rodriguez a standing eight count. Moments later, Provodnikov dropped Rodriguez twice with booming right hands.

After the 2nd knockdown, the fight was halted at 1:40 of the round by Stanley Christodoulou.

“I must praise Rodriguez,” said Provodnikov after the fight. “A lot of big names didn’t want to fight, but he did.”

Rodriguez spent the entire fight circling the ring and shooting out jabs that mostly missed. He had good hand speed and decent punching power, but he was sitting down on his punches due to his constant movement. Rodriguez looked like he was afraid to stop for more than fraction of a second in the fight. This made it easy for Provodnikov to come forward unmolested to nail Rodriguez with big shots to the head and body.

Provodnikov looked a lot better on defense than he had in his past fights. He did a good job of getting out of the way of the punches that Rodriguez was throwing. However, he was in with a limited fighter, and it’s hard to know how he’d do if he were fighting someone good like Lucas Matthysse.

When Provodnikov started to apply a lot of pressure on Rodriguez in the 3rd round, he found himself getting hit a lot. If this had been a better fighter than Rodriguez like Terence Crawford, Provodnikov likely would have found himself getting hit a lot like he normally does.

Provodnikov’s punching power looked as good as well. But he really didn’t go after Rodriguez until the 3rd.

I’m not sure that Provodnikov has improved enough with his new trainer Joel Diaz for him to beat the better fighters at 140. Provodnikov is going to need more time with his new trainer for him to improve enough to where we’ll see if he can compete against the better fighters in the light welterweight division like Crawford, Viktor Postol, Lamont Peterson, Matthysse, Amir Iman, Antonio Orozco, Mauricio Herrera, Eduard Troyanovsky, Felix Diaz, and Omar Figueroa. Right now, I think Provodnikov would lose to most if not all of those fighters. He’s still too easy to hit, and he doesn’t cut off the ring very well. He’s got slow feet.

In other action on the card, the hard hitting #10 WBA David Avanesyan (21-1-1, 11 KOs) defeated #9 WBA Charlo Navaro (25-8, 20 KOs) by a 9th round knockout to capture the interim WBA welterweight title. Navarro had a point deducted in the 5th round due to low blow.

Avanesyan and Navarro leaped frogged the arguably more talented contender Errol Spence Jr. in the WBA’s top 15 rankings. Only the WBA knows why they have these guys ranked above Spence, because neither of them looked very special tonight.

Other boxing results on tonight’s Provodnikov-Rodriguez fight card:

Youri Kayembre Kalenga KO 9 Roberto Feliciano Bolonti
Jun Qiu Xiao TKO 11 Amor Belahdj Ali
Zhanat Zhakiyanov SD 12 Yonfrez Parejo

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