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Freddie Roach to train Ruslan Provodnikov for fight against Timothy Bradley

February 3, 2013 4:33pm

After scoring an upset victory over Manny Pacquiao back in June, Timothy Bradley’s career was supposed to sky-rocket. At that time he held the WBO light welterweight and welterweight titles and had a choice to relinquish one and keep the other. Bradley decided it would be best to keep the welterweight title around his waist as a bait for a possible rematch with Pacquiao. Instead, Bradley never got his rematch. In fact, he failed to get any other match in 2012.

This March, Bradley (29-0-0, 12 KOs) will return to the ring after nine months of inactivity to defend his title against Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1-0, 15 KOs), one of Pacquiao’s former sparring partners.

Provodnikov was one of the fighters that Freddie Roach hand-picked for Pacquiao during their preparation for the fight against Bradley. He is a bull-strong fighter who only knows one way to fight and that’s by boring his way through his opponents. Now, the Russian will get the chance to fight Bradley himself for the belt Pacquiao held at that time. He will move up in weight for the fight as he last fought in the light welterweight division. However, adding seven pounds should not be a problem for the wide-bodied Provodnikov.

Even though Provodnikov will step into the ring as an underdog, he has an ace up his sleeve as he will be trained by Roach and his assistant trainer Marvin Somodio. Roach knows how to fight Bradley and his knowledge will be one of the keys for an upset.

Although Bradley should be worried about ring rust, he should be comforted by the fact that his opponents also last fought in June of 2012. What should worry them more is that Roach is out for revenge after Bradley was named the victor over Pacquiao controversially. Provodnikov will be making his way to the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles next week to start his preparations for his first world title opportunity.

The fight will be held on March 16 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, a popular venue for the boys of Top Rank Boxing. - AMD, GMA News

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