Weights: Provodnikov-Molina, Andrade-Nelson, & Zlaticanin-Mamani
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME) By Patrick McHugh: Former WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs) successfully made weight on Friday for his 12 round fight against the hard hitting slugger John Molina Jr. (28-6, 23 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, New York.
Provodnikov weighed in right at the light welterweight limit at 140 pounds. Molina came in at 140lbs as well. This is a decent main event fight. It’s not great but it’ll be entertaining.
There won’t be any championships on the line on Saturday for the 30ish Provodnikov and Molina, as they’re just battling for entertainment purposes. The loser of the fight will still be in demand as an opponent for the top guys, and the winner will be in line for a title shot.
This should be an interesting fight if the two of them having anything left after their recent defeats. Provodnikov and Molina are still technically contenders, but they’re obviously heading towards journeyman status with the regularity that they’re both losing now in their careers.
Provodnikov has lost two out of his last four fights and three out of his last six. For his part, Molina has suffered defeats in three out of his last four fights. The two of them are Gatti like fighters with them giving the fans entertainment, but not being guys that are belt holder caliber fighters.
The fact that Showtime is televising their fight instead of some of the unbeaten contenders tells you that they understand that fight fans want to see brutal knockouts and aggressive punchers. That’s one of the reasons why IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is so popular. He supplies knockouts and aggression.
Showtime doesn’t have Golovkin signed to a contract unfortunately for them. He’s signed with HBO. The next best thing Showtime has to Golovkin is Provodnikov. The only negative with him is he can be out-boxed when he’s put in with slick fighters. However, Showtime is smart to have Provodnikov fighting another slugger like Molina rather than a boxer because it virtually guarantees excitement and a likely victory for Provodnikov.
Provodnikov is seen by many boxing fans as the better fighter than Molina. The announcement that Provodnikov was going to be fighting Molina rather than WBO 140lb champion Terence Crawford wasn’t seen as great news by fans. They wanted to see Provodnikov fight a better class of opponent.
The Provodnikov – Molina Jr. fight card start time is at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Former WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (22-0, 15 KOs) weighed in at 154lbs for his WBC 154lb eliminator bout against Willie Nelson (25-2-1, 15 KOs). The winner of the Andrade-Nelson fight will be the new WBC mandatory challenger to WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.
Nelson also weighed in at 154lbs. Both fighters will likely be moving up to middleweight in the not too distant future because they’re both large guys for the 154lb division. They might be better suited to be fighting in the 160lb division against fighters like Golovkin, David Lemieux, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders.
Dejan Zlaticanin (21-0, 14 KOs) weighed in at 134 Pounds for his contest against Franklin Mamani (21-2-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBC lightweight title. Mamani weighed in at 133 ½ Pounds.
Zlaticanin has the better punching power, and is seen as the favorite to win this contest. Mamani is little more than a replacement for the injured Emiliano Marsili, who suffered an injury and pulled out of the fight. Marsili would have likely been a huge underdog against Zlaticanin as well.
Former middleweight title challenger Willie Monroe Jr. (19-2, 6 KOs) weighed in at 160lbs for his fight against former world title challenger John Thompson (17-2, 6 KOs), who came in at 159lbs for their 10 round bout.
Both Monroe and Thompson are coming off of knockout defeats in their last fight. Monroe Jr. was stopped by Golovkin in the 6th round last year in May. Monroe Jr. has been out of the ring for an entire year since his loss to GGG. Thompson, 27, was stopped in the 7th round by Liam Smith last October in a failed attempt to win the vacant WBO junior middleweight title.
Other weighs on the card:
Andrey Fedosov – 225 ½ Pounds vs. Mario Heredia – 286 Pounds
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