I recently had a chance to speak with reigning WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov during the 216th edition of “On The Ropes.” Ruslan shared his thoughts on the recent dominant victory by Juan Manuel Marquez over Mike Alvarado, and also talked about the possibly of facing Marquez in the future.
Provodnikov also discussed his upcoming June 14th bout against Chris Algieri, and if he thinks it’s a dangerous challenge. Additionally Ruslan talked about potentially meeting Manny Pacquiao in the ring one day, and also how he thinks a Mayweather-Provodnikov fight would play out. Here what Ruslan Provodnikov had to say.
Jenna J: Ruslan, you were recently in attendance for the Mike Alvarado-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. What were your thoughts on the event?
Ruslan Provodnikov: Yes I was at the fight, I enjoyed it very much. Alvarado once again proved that he’s a great fighter and of course Juan Manuel Marquez, I was very impressed with his speed and power at his age. It was unbelievable.
Jenna: There was talk of you potentially fighting Marquez but he chose Alvarado instead. How disappointed were you that he made that choice, and why do you think he made that choice?
Provodnikov: It wasn’t that I was very disappointed, it is what it is. If it happened this way then it must have been this way, but I’m definitely interested to see what would happen in a fight with Marquez and me. I always thought, and I still think it would be a great fight.
As far as the reason they chose Alvarado — you can just take a look at my fight with Alvarado and Marquez’ fight with Alvarado. You can get an idea of what kind of fight Marquez and I would have. It would be a real war and I don’t think it would be an easy fight for Marquez. I think that explains a lot of the reasoning behind why they didn’t want to fight me.
Jenna: There’s been a lot of talk of Marquez and how he looks so athletic and muscular, why do you think he’s able to perform so well now into his forties?
Provodnikov: I’ve heard and I’ve read some things about different people talking about Marquez maybe taking something or being on something. With the type of career that he has and the type of fighter that he is and everything that he’s proved in the ring, I will not take it upon myself to blame him for anything. It’s on his honesty and it will be upon him whether that’s something that he wants to do in the ring or not.
A lot of the fighters like myself are doing VADA testing now, I’m taking care of VADA stuff for my upcoming fight because I want to support a clean sport. If he would do the same then there would be no questions, but I will not take it upon myself to blame him or say anything because he’s already done so much in the sport that I don’t think he would deserve any type of blaming like that.
Jenna: This question is for you Vadim. Being that you are the manager of Ruslan Provodnikov, I want to know what was behind that decision to fight Chris Algieri and why ultimately did you choose him as an opponent?
Vadim Kornilov: Well, we actually didn’t have a lot of options. The only other guy that actually wanted to fight Ruslan — who’s HBO material — was Brandon Rios. We just couldn’t make that happen because of Brandon Rios’ management and promotional team were not really willing to make any type of a deal. I don’t really think they wanted the fight as bad as Brandon Rios wanted the fight.
Other than Brandon Rios, we were looking for other options but there weren’t many options. We needed to get in the ring and fight. Chris Algieri stepped up and he wanted the fight and we looked at him and we wanted to make that fight date finalized and make it happen.
Artie Pelullo from Banner Promotions was looking through all the opponents trying to figure something out, but it ended up with Freddie, myself and Artie just deciding on Chris Algieri, who’s a great fighter.
Jenna: Ruslan, your opponent is Chris Algieri. What do you think about the opponent you have in front of you?
Provodnikov: He’s a good fighter, he’s tall, he’s a good boxer. Obviously this is not the best type of opponent for me, I usually like to fight fighters who have more of a brawler Mexican type of style, which fits me better, but on purpose I wanted to fight a guy like this because I have to grow, I have to get better in the ring to make sure I can beat any type of style in the ring.
I’m taking this fight very seriously, like he is also. I’m training for this fight just like I trained for my previous two world title fights with Alvarado and Bradley. You will see the same or better Provodnikov in the ring on June 14th.
Jenna: Being that fighters like Pacquiao and Marquez await you, is this a dangerous fight between you and Chris Algieri because if you over look him, those other fights could dry up?
Provodnikov: Yes, definitely. I wanted the big fight right now, I wanted the biggest fights right now but as you know, we were waiting and making different negotiations but nothing came to fruition, so we had to make something happen. This is a fight that I want to take this fight seriously and win it in the right fashion, and I look forward to a bigger fight after this fight.
Jenna: Being that you share Freddie Roach as a trainer with Manny Pacquiao, do you really want to fight Pacquiao knowing that ultimately your trainer is going to train Manny to beat you?
Provodnikov: Yes, definitely I said I wanted the fight and I know Manny said he wanted the fight, I think it should be likewise from my side. Freddie and I already sat down before and talked about a possible fight with Manny and Freddie gave me his approval and said he would not be disappointed with me if I took the fight.
This is boxing, it’s part of the business, it’s my job, it’s Manny’s job. What we have to do is try to make as much money as we can for our families and for our lives because this is what we do.
I’m sure if the fight comes true, Freddie and the team will sit down and we will work it out and figure out the right solution. Even though I know Freddie is gonna be in Manny’s corner, but there’s always options. I’m trying to figure something out in case something like this happens, if everyone wants to see it.
Jenna: How do you think a fight between you and Manny Pacquiao plays out?
Provodnikov: I don’t know who would win the fight but I can tell you for sure that all the fans and all the people who would see the fight would get what they came for.
Jenna: A lot of people want to see you face off with Floyd Mayweather. Did you get a chance to see Mayweather’s last fight and how do you think you would do against Floyd?
Provodnikov: Yes I did watch the fight, it was a great fight. I’m very impressed with Maidana in his last two fights, he does a great job. If I fought Floyd, I’ve said before that I think that we would have a great fight. I definitely know that I wouldn’t do less than Maidana, maybe more, we have similar styles but I think I can hurt Mayweather and I think it would be a really tough fight for him.
We’ll see what happens, I don’t want to get too much into dreaming right now — right now it’s only part of a dream because right now there’s no fight negotiated yet. Once the fight is negotiated at some point, then we can definitely talk more precisely about the way the fight would go.
Jenna: Last two questions Ruslan. Do you still have any desire to fight Timothy Bradley again, and do you think he would drop down in weight to fight for a title?
Provodnikov: Yeah definitely, that’s one of the fights that I want to entertain. I’m definitely interested in a rematch. I don’t think he can go down in weight, that’s my opinion. I don’t think he’s gonna be able to go down to 140lbs now, but I can go to 147 lbs, I don’t mind.
Right now the problem with a lot of these opponents is just for them to say “Yes.” I’m ready to fight any of these guys, I’m willing to get into fights with any of the biggest stars, it’s just a lot of them are not really being open about fighting me. I’ll be waiting for that, or the fans will push for these fights and they will happen anyways, against their will. It’s just about timing.
Jenna: What is your official prediction for your fight against Chris Algieri and what can the fans expect from you on June 14th?
Provodnikov: I don’t ever make predictions for my fights but I can tell you that everyone who’s gonna watch and everyone who’s gonna be there is not gonna be disappointed. I never disappoint my fans, I always do my best, I always give everything that I have in my fights. Nobody is gonna be disappointed when they see this fight.