Provodnikov hits harder than Pacquiao: Bradley
MANILA, Philippines – Russian boxer Ruslan Provodnikov was the first fighter to truly hurt Timothy Bradley, the American champion said after their sensational 12-round war Saturday in Carson, California (Sunday in Manila).
Provodnikov, a junior welterweight who climbed a weight class for the fight, stunned Bradley in the first round and nearly knocked out the American fighter in the second.
Bradley controlled most of the middle rounds before nearly getting knocked out again in the final round, and won via unanimous decision.
Following the fight, he commended Provodnikov and said the Russian was the first opponent to truly give him damage.
“He’s the first opponent that actually rocked me, who took me to the distance and actually hurt me,” Bradley said. “He’s the first guy to ever do that.”
In the post-fight press conference, Bradley said Provodnikov hit harder than Filipino icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, whom he controversially defeated in June 2012.
“He’s much more powerful than Pacquiao. He hits harder and has shorter punches,” Bradley said, as quoted by Boxing Scene. [http://www.boxingscene.com/bradley-provodnikov-much-more-powerful-pacquiao—63440]
“He’s a great puncher, and I take my hat off to him,” he added.
Bradley predicted that greater things are in store for Provodnikov in the future, especially after such a performance.
“Ruslan is a strong fighter, he’s a great, great fighter. He will be a champion someday,” he said. “Anybody he fights, man. This guy is the real deal.”
Bradley earned the 30th win of his career, while Provodnikov lost for only the second time.