The last time we saw Ruslan Provodnikov he appeared to be heading towards a win over relative unknown (but undefeated) Chris Algieri. Provodnikov looked dominant early knocking Algieri down twice in the first round causing swelling around his right eye. It looked like it would be a short night for the former junior welterweight champion. After the first round, though, Algieri regained his composure and fought the best way he knew how, tactically. Provodnikov wanted to make the fight a brawl but Algieri, wisely, wanted no part of that. Algieri stayed out of power punch range of Provodnikov as much as possible and worked away at Provodnikov with a good jab and mixing in the occasional power shot. Ultimately, Algieri worked his way back in to the fight and won a majority decision to become the new WBO Junior Welterweight Champion.
Losing that fight cost Provodnikov a shot at Manny Pacquiao in Macau, China, instead, that honor has now gone to Algieri. The loss leaves Provodnikov to pick up the pieces and move on with his career, working to get back to the champion level. A date has already been set for his next fight in Moscow, Russia (November 28), but he currently does not have an opponent.
Who won’t he fight?
First, let’s start by looking at the fighters that Provodnikov’s camp said they would like for him to fight, but won’t be. Some big names were tossed around for a fight in the United States and presumably names that HBO would prefer, Timothy Bradley Jr. in a rematch, Brandon Rios, titlist Jessie Vargas, Diego Chaves, or junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia. None of the fighters could reach an agreement with HBO and none of the potential opponents seemed interested in Provodnikov.
Who has been given offers to fight Provodnikov?
Former titleholder Zab Judah has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in his career, at least in terms of earning fights with bigger names, most recently he lost to Paulie Malignaggi and Danny Garcia. Judah was offered mid-six figures for the fight but didn’t want to take on the fight in Russia. Interim titlist Mauricio Herrera was also offered mid-six figures to take on the fight but also elected to not travel to Russia to fight Provodnikov in his own backyard.
Who is likely to be the next opponent?
It appears that Jose Luis Castillo, who has long passed the “washed up” stage will be the one willing to fight Provodnikov in Russia. Castillo has a career record of 66-12-1, 57 KO’s, but the late years have not been kind to Castillo’s career. Castillo hasn’t been relevant in the sport since losing the junior welterweight world title fight to Ricky Hatton in 2007 where he was knocked out in the fourth round. Since that night Castillo has gone 11-4 in 15 fights, nothing to be ashamed of, but the four losses were convincing and against good opponents. Castillo does stand to make $500,000 for the fight and would travel to Russia to fight. We would expect the announcement to be made soon and we wouldn’t expect this fight to last very long when it is held. It’s tough to be a brawler that is trying to work his way back on to the championship scene, it’s always a risky fight for good fighters.