Former WBO light-welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov (24-4, 17 KO’s) is targeting former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios (33-2-1, 24 KO’s), which is guaranteed to be a rock ‘em sock ‘em contest.
According to Vadim Kornilov, the manager of both Provodnikov and light-welterweight contender Viktor Postol, Provodnikov wanted a rematch against current WBO titleholder Lucas Matthysse, but he’s scheduled to fight Postol in October, so he had to find another dancing partner.
Rios, who was unable to secure a fight against IBF welterweight titleholder Kell Brook due to a disagreement in negotiations regarding a rematch clause, has plenty of options.
Top Rank is considering matching him against former titlist Jessie Vargas, who lost to current WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in their battle for the then vacant title in June. However, they are also looking at matching him against Bradley.
Rios has not fought since January when he put a conclusive end to his rivalry with former IBF Latino titlist Mike Alvarado with a conclusive third-round TKO victory in a rubber match in Broomfield, Colorado.
According to Boxing Scene, Top Rank is requesting for more money than HBO is capable of paying to place Bradley-Rios on the network, so Rios-Provodnikov is the likelier fight if the two sides can reach an agreement.
These are two guys that just know how to go to war in the ring. This is a fight is a most for hardcore fight fans.
“Our target is Brandon Rios since Lucas Matthysse is pre-occupied with a championship fight against Viktor Postol. We just hope Rios will agree to the terms, and that is words aren’t just chatter. The networks are very interested in this fight,” Kornilov told Boxing Scene.
The winner of Rios-Provodnikov could get a shot against Bradley if ‘Desert Storm’ defeats his next opponent – possibly Sadam Ali – and if we’re lucky enough to see Bradley-Provodnikov II, that’s going to be an unbelievably great treat for the fans.