Provodnikov-Pacquiao showdown possible: Arum
MANILA, Philippines – New world light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia has a lot of options following his stoppage victory over Mike Alvarado last weekend that allowed him to annex the World Boxing Organization belt.
One option for Provodnikov, nicknamed the “Siberian Rocky,” is a bout against Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao, for whom he has served as a sparring partner in the past.
“Why not?” Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum told Ronnie Nathanielsz of Boxing Scene when asked about a Pacquiao-Provodnikov showdown.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who trains both Pacquiao and Provodnikov, does not think it will ever happen, however.
“They are good friends, and I don’t think they’ll fight,” Roach said.
HBO analyst Larry Merchant is among those who would want to see a fight between Pacquiaoa nd Provodnikov.
“Sure, I’d love to see that. He’s sparred many rounds with Pacquiao,” he told Hustle Boss. “When you get a chance to fight a guy like Pacquiao, that’s where the money is. That’s where the top of the mountain is.”
If a Pacquiao fight does not materialize, Provodnikov still has other options, including a rematch with Alvarado. He can also take on Timothy Bradley in a rematch after losing a close decision to the American last March.
“Bradley, Pacquiao and (Brandon) Rios are out there,” said Provodnikov’s promoter, Artie Pelullo, on ESPN. “Alvarado might want a rematch. We have a lot of options.”