In the most highly anticipated fight thus far in 2015, Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov squared off in an incredibly gutsy fight live from Tunring Stone in Verona, New York.
The fight started off in Matthysse’s favor, although the first round could be considered a feel out by their standards, even though it had plenty of action compared to the average opening round. Matthysse kept Provodnikov in check and kept getting loser and looser as the round went on.
Matthysse got even more comfortable in the 2nd round and was tagging Provodnikov. Matthysse wasn’t out boxing Ruslan, but he wasn’t outslugging him either, it was a stragety somewhere in between.
Provodnikov looked tight and his punches were stuck in the mud. His accuracy was clearly off, but he isn’t the most accurate puncher to begin with, however it was his overall punching stability that seemed off base. Matthysse was landing shots, both busy shots and ones with intent. Through 3 rounds, Matthysse was in control.
However, just as we figured, the fight was evened up a bit in the 4th as Provodnikov begin landing for himself. Ruslan had landed some shots that were on point in the previous round, but the ones in the 4th were the kind that we expect from him. Provodnikov made them count and they earned him respect from Matthysse.
After some considerable offense, Matthysse regained control by throwing and landing that straight right hand. Matthysse was really effecting the cut on Provodnikov’s eye that he suffered in the 3rd round.
Matthysse took control for the next several rounds and he began establishing his performance in a dominant way. The fight was getting so one-sided that Provodnikov’s trainer Marvin Somodio actually threatened to stop the fight in between rounds.
Matthysse was being the quintessential puncher-boxer, but his punches had a lot on them, which was evident by Provodnikov’s grotesque face.
However, Provodnikov started to put some offense together in the late 9th and cemented an offense in the 10th.
By the 11th, Provodnikov found a way to find Matthysse and landed the most meaningful punch in the fight, which staggered Matthysse and had him retreating. Matthysse tried boxing and moving more after that shot, but he clearly had a newfound respect for Provodnikov’s power.
Heading into the 12th, Provodnikov had definitely evened the fight, but the idea was he would probably still need at least a knockdown to cement a victory, although Harold Lederman scored it 114-114. It was close, but Provodnikov definitely needed a big 12th, but he certainly needed the 12th to make a case for himself on the scorecards.
Provodnikov did a great job of stalking Matthysse early in the final round, but he wasn’t getting to his opponent enough to create a moment. Matthysse was producing no offense in the final round, probably content with what he’d done in the previous rounds.
Matthysse survived the 12th and the fight went to the scorecards. The judges scored the fight 114-114 and 115-113 twice for Lucas Matthysse who won by majority decision.
In the post-fight interview, Lucas praised Ruslan’s chin and admitted that he had to move to win because he felt his opponent’s power in the middle of the fight. Matthysse said through a translator that he’d like the winner of Mayweather-Pacquiao.