Former WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov has responded to recent claims by Timothy Bradley that a rematch between the two is no longer a viable option following the Russian’s debatable defeat to Chris Algieri.
Provodnikov was livid as hearing Bradley’s claims and believes a second match-up between the pair would be an ideal fight for both after the two shared a brutal twelve round war in March last year and are coming off losses.
“I think that Bradley never wanted the rematch because he’s afraid of me,” Provodnikov exclusively told World Boxing News on Saturday.
“Now that I lost, he is trying to use this as a reason for why he shouldn’t’ fight me. I know HBO wants the rematch and I know the fans want the rematch, so it will be a great fight again.”
Bradley, 30, was put on the canvas by ‘The Siberian Rocky’ and rocked badly in the first fight many times as the American came out of the fight with victory by the smallest of margins at the Home Depot Center.
A return seems like a logical step for Provodnikov, also 30, and Bradley, who recently succumbed to a redemption effort by Manny Pacquiao, as both need a big win to get back in the mix to fight the ‘Pacman’ or even some of the bigger name Golden Boy fighters at 147.
“If he is a man he should just fight me instead of trying to come up with reasons to stay away,” said Provodnikov. “If he thinks he can just come out and box me in a rematch than it should be easy money for him then he should fight me and not make excuses.
“I think Bradley should take a step forward and prove to all the fans that he’s not afraid to get in the ring with me again.”
Talk of another helping with recent foe Chris Algieri has been cool from the new title holder’s side, although Provodnikov revealed to WBN that there is a rematch clause he can activate, but he is unsure whether the fans are keen to see them fighting again.
“I know the rematch clause is there because my promoter Art Pelullo told me specifically that I can fight with Algieri on neutral territory this time,” he explained.
“I just hope that people want to see Algieri fight again. There are some fans who feed off of watching boxers survive in the ring and I have to give it to him he is a great survivor. But I also know that my fans want to see action and excitement and want to see me fight with the likes of Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manni Paquiao, Timothy Bradley, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Marco Maidana and other great warriors that have already created history in the ring.
“Throughout history people were always excited by confrontation and wars that are back and forth action and not just one side trying to survive.
“I think fans would love me to fight Matthysse or Maidana. I know one hundred percent that they are what the fans want to see and I’ve been told by my manager these fights are now possible as these fighters are working with Oscar De La Hoya.
“Oscar who is a real promoter and wants to make real fights possible. Oscar is not a banker, he is a fighter in his heart who wants to grow the sport of boxing and he doesn’t only think about money and how to make more of it!
“This type of fight will bring the fire in my eyes back, which I didn’t feel I had in the Algieri fight. I came into the Algieri fight as if it was a sparring session as I knew what type of fight it would be and it didn’t excite me or motivate me.
“I hope Bradley takes up the challenge and doesn’t run or we can make a fight with Matthysse or Maidana possible,” added Provodnikov.
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