WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov is closer to naming his opponent for June 14 as the Russian prepares to put his title on the line for the first time since dethroning Mike Alvarado last October.
‘The Siberian Rocky’ has long been linked to a high-profile title defence against former WBA lightweight title holder Brandon Rios on his return date, although talks so far have not gone as smooth as Provodkinov and his manager Vadim Kornilov would wish.
Kornilov has been scouting for alternatives to Rios as the deadline to lock in an opponent for the summer contest nears, with undefeated New Yorker Chris Algieri now in the frame to challenge for a his first world championship.
“After meeting with our promoter Art Pelullo of Banner promotions and Freddie Roach to discuss possible opponent options, it looks like the front runner for Ruslan is Chris Algieri for June 14th,” Kornilov explained to World Boxing News.
“Algieri will be an exciting match-up, but we are ready to fight Brandon Rios any time if his promotional and managerial team would accept the fight.”
Rios, 27, is on the comeback trail from suffering a second career defeat last time out against Manny Pacquiao in Macau, whilst the largely untested Algieri is yet to suffer a loss in 19 professional outings since 2008.
Provodnikov will share top billing for his next bout with talented WBO light-middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, who is set to put his belt on the line against Briton Brian Rose in a mandatory defence.
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