Ruslan Provodnikov is trying to catch the elusive Amir Khan, targeting a fall date or perhaps a December showdown to close out the year for both fighters.
Provodnikov has only competed once in 2015, and that was a 12-round majority decision loss to Lucas Matthysse back in April. What’s worse is that Provodnikov, who is one of the most exciting fighters in boxing today, is a mere 2-3 in his last five fights. That said, his losses have come against some of his division’s best, and the best outside of his division as was the case against Timothy Bradley.
The reason for such a long timeframe between significant fights for Provodnikov is because of the manner in which those fights are fought. He is usually in grueling bouts that take a toll on the body, forcing him to take time between fights.
Khan would be a huge win for Provodnikov, and I’m not even talking about the possibility of him getting his hand raised. Khan has avoided the toughest fights in the welterweight division because he had hoped to land Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his last several fights. The Mayweather fight has eluded Khan, but it has also been a big disservice to one of the most talented offensive fighters in boxing today because he has stayed away from other big fights, making him seem like a duck to some fans and media.
This would be a huge fight in boxing, but it would work well for both fighters. For Provodnikov, it is a big payday against a highly-regarded fighter who many perceive to have a “glass chin,” although those claims have been blown out of proportion. For Khan, it would help his reputation to take on such a rugged fighter known for creating exciting bouts. Provodnikov is a well-known fighter within the boxing circles, but it isn’t the notable name that Khan has been seeking, which would also help his reputation amongst the doubters that believe Khan is afraid to be matched tough with a strong puncher.
Provodnikov told Hoop Jab’s Neal Anthony Johnson that he is hopeful the fight will get done.
“I’m hoping my team makes the deal. I already came to the U.S. to start training. For now, we don’t have anything specific. I know they’re negotiating, but I’m hoping that my team makes the fight. I’m ready to fight anybody.”
Provodnikov believes he has a big advantage in the fight, which is true because his trainer Freddie Roach is Khan’s former trainer.
There are reasons to believe that Provodnikov will end up missing out on the Khan fight, and if he does, he seems to be without a meaningful dance partner for the end of the year.
“I don’t even know who to consider right now because before Khan we talked, the networks talked, and everybody talked to everybody. Rios, Bradley, Matthysse, they were trying to make a fight with me with one of those guys, but they all avoided the fight with me, so right now I’m hoping the Khan fight happens because I think it’s a great fight,” Provodnikov told HoopJab on a video published on their YouTube channel.
There are rumors that Khan is considering other fights against other opponents. In fact, there are talks that Khan will close out the year with a soft touch only to prepare himself for a major fight with another huge name in PBC’s vast welterweight stable.
If a fight with Khan happens then, Provodnikov will have to leave HBO because of Khan’s ties to Al Haymon and his PBC series. Provodnikov launched his career on HBO, and all of his major fights have been on the network.