Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions spoke with Nestor Gibbs of Thaboxingvoice.com last night. Gibbs caught up with Artie at the ESPN Boxcino card and they spoke about the one fight that has everyone buzzing, or perhaps I should say the one fight that real fight fans have been buzzing over since it was thrown into contention last month.
That fight is between power punchers Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse. The fight is an incredible matchup and fight fans are going crazy considering the potential action we would see on fight night.
There has been some discussion regarding the fight and certain reports have indicated that it is done while others suggest there is still work to do. However, Pelullo tells Thaboxingvocie.com that the fight is agreed to.
“Provodnikov, in my opinion, and Matthysse is going to happen for sure,” Pelullo told Gibbs. “Oscar is very close, we’re partners. The fight’s a go, the date is March 28th [as of now] and I think it’s probably one of the great fights of 2015.”
Normally, this kind of confirmation would be enough, but with the magnitude of this fight and the excitement level as high as it is you want certain aspects to be announced so that it becomes inescapable. It isn’t about trust, it’s just that this fight is so important to fight fans that we want to make sure nothing ruins the fight and little details don’t cost us this potential showdown, you can blame Mayweather-Pacquiao for our lack of confidence in expecting to get what we want.
“The fight is definitely going to happen, the 28th or maybe a later date. What I’m saying is we have an agreement between Golden Boy and Banner for Matthysse and Ruslan to fight and the date is tentatively scheduled for [March] 28th,” Pelullo reiterated.
There are certain aspects of the fight that have been settled, but other decisions yet to be made.
Pelullo promotes Provodnikov, but he also promotes Chris Algieri, who is due for a shot at the vacant WBO junior welterweight title that was stripped from him after he decided to take a fight with Manny Pacquiao at welterweight last November.
However, Algieri may decide to forgo his title shot for now in hopes of receiving the opportunity later this year. This decision could open the door for the WBO to sanction Provodnikov-Matthysse and while nothing is certain, Pelullo doesn’t discount anything.
“Right now it will be a 12 round bout for Ruslan and Matthysse and whether it is for a vacant title or a regional title, we don’t know. The WBO hasn’t made their decisions yet, the title is vacant and it doesn’t look like Chris is going to fight Crawford, so I’m not exactly sure how they’re going to go down that road. Maybe it could be for the title, maybe not, I just don’t know that answer yet. Right now the biggest scenario is to find a location for the fight.”
Banner Promotions and Golden Boy are giving fight fans exactly what we want and Oscar De La Hoya is living up to his promise that he made claiming he would attempt to make the biggest and most fan appealing fights in boxing.
Pelullo tells Thaboxingvoice that Oscar’s sentiments remain true and sincere, but he also reminds us that a fighter willing to take on the best is a necessary element and that fights cannot be made unless the best are enthusiastic and prepared. The reason this fight was so easy to make, according to Pelullo, is that both men are up for the challenge.
“It was extremely easy [to make a deal with Golden Boy]. All of the business was done with Eric Gomez. Oscar was aware of everything we were doing, he was aware of everything I was doing. Both fighters want the fight, this is very key. Both big time punchers and big time professional fighters want to fight each other. It wasn’t hard getting Matthysse or Ruslan to agree to the fight, they both wanted it.”
Pelullo has high hopes for this fight, as we all do, but it is clear that the fighters are just as hopeful. They are hopeful to win, hopeful to give the fans what they want, and hopeful to put on a good show. If our hopes are met and expectations are fulfilled then this might be the beginning of a tremendous rivalry.
“This is the fight that Ruslan has always wanted. You know what he’s like, he’s TV friendly, he’s fan-friendly, like Matthysse. This is the kind of fight that makes even a bigger career for each guy. There is no loser, this is the kind of fight that could be a trilogy.