News September 2013

Live Fight Q&A with Ruslan Provodnikov


By @shaun_brown

If boxing fans across the world had not heard of Ruslan Provodnikov before 16th March 2013 then they certainly would have after the Russian’s epic encounter with Tim Bradley for the American’s WBO Welterweight title that night at the Home Depot Centre in California.

In a fight that yelled "Fight of the Year" in almost every round, Provodnikov eventually lost a 112-115 113-114 113-114 unanimous decision despite dropping the champion in the final round. Both men’s stock had risen considerably because of their efforts. Bradley’s performance was one of a point being proven, a cry of 'Are you not entertained?!' one might say after fans and media’s scepticism as to whether ‘Desert Storm’ had it in him to go toe-to-toe for 12 rounds. For Provodnikov, the fans became thirsty for more and licked their lips when it was announced that he and Mike Alvarado would square off in Alvarado’s home city of Denver for the WBO Interim Light Welterweight title on October 19.

In a rare interview with the UK boxing media, Live Fight caught up with Provodnikov to discuss the Bradley fight and his date with Alvarado (which will be shown live on Sky Sports).

LF: First off Ruslan, how’s preparation going for the Alvarado fight and is there going to be anything different about this camp than there was for the Timothy Bradley fight?

RP: Training is going great, I'm very happy and satisfied with my training camp. We are doing a similar training camp as the one for the Bradley fight only this one is a full eight weeks training camp when the last one was only five and my trainers are adding some adjustments to correct some of the mistakes from the last fight.

LF: What do you make of Alvarado as a fighter and what did you think of his performances against Brandon Rios last year and this year?

RP: He is a great fighter and is very tough. He had two great fights with Brandon Rios, both candidates for fight of the year, I'm preparing for a very tough fight with Mike.

LF: Over half of your fights have been in America, do you now feel settled in the United States and adjusted to their ways of life?

RP: I feel very comfortable fighting here, the fans support the better fighter which is amazing. They don't care who you are and where you are from it's all about how you fight and if you're ready to leave everything in the ring. At home I had a tough childhood growing up, very tough, this helps me succeed now.

LF: When did you know you wanted to be a professional boxer? What did the sport do to hook you?

RP: I knew as soon as I tried it, I was being rewarded for doing what I loved to do and that's fighting. The excitement hooked me.

LF: What’s your memories of your American debut in 2007 against Antwon Barrett?

RP: It was a lot of excitement, I fought on the undercard of [Juan] Diaz vs. [Acelino] Freitas in the beginning of my US career, now on October 19th, Diaz is fighting on the undercard of my main even fight which is amazing.

LF: How do you assess your career so far?

RP: I'm very glad with the way my career has gone. I have learned and gained experience year after year. I'm happy with my team and the people that surround me, it means everything to me.

LF: For those that don’t know a lot about you, can you give us an insight about growing up in Beryozovo? What kind of childhood did you have?

RP: All I can say is that it was very, very tough, I did not have an easy upbringing.

LF: Teddy Atlas said after your last fight that “There was some of Bradley and some of Provodnikov left in the ring after that fight.” Physically, how did you feel afterwards? How long did it take you to recover and how do you review the fight now six months on?

RP: Yes it was a tough fight but I felt good. I had no problem after the fight, only some cuts and puffiness on my face, but I get cut easily, my facial skin is soft, I did not take any devastating shots from Bradley, I feel great now and ready for another big fight 100%. I have said before my fight with Bradley was a great fight, as soon as I saw it on TV I realized that there is nothing to be mad about, the judges probably gave the right decision. It went the way it went and hopefully when we have a rematch I will use my experience from the previous fight in my favour.

LF: Were you surprised how Bradley fought? Do you think he had a point to prove, to show people that he could have a toe-to-toe war?

RP: Yes definitely he did, and my respect to him as a person and as a fighter rose very much after our fight.

LF: What’s your thoughts about Bradley’s upcoming fight against Juan Manuel Marquez and would you be interested in facing the winner?

RP: Definitely. I always dreamt of fighting Marquez, he's a legendary warrior and I would definitely want to fight Timothy Bradley again, we both know we have unfinished business after our last fight.

LF: What has it been like to work with Freddie Roach?

RP: It's a big pleasure to work with him, he's a trainer like no other, I'm very lucky...

LF: What’s your views on the light welterweight and welterweight division right now? What weight are you happiest at?

RP: I will continue fighting at both 140 and 147, I feel great in both divisions. I will fight the best and prove to myself and to everybody that' I'm one of the best fighters in both divisions.

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