Former world champion Ruslan Provodnikov has endured weeks of frustration in searching for his next foe, according to manager Vadim Kornilov who explained the situation as it stands to WBN on Thursday.
Provodnikov is keen to get back in the ring since the 30 year-old lost his WBO light-welterweight belt in a shock defeat to Chris Algieri last June, which subsequently meant the Russian missed out on a lucrative fight with Manny Pacquiao.
A date of November 28 has been pencilled in as Provodnikov eyes a return to his native country for the first time since 2011 and Kornilov hopes to nail down an opponent soon following a series of disappointments.
“At the moment, I am not sure who will be the opponent,” Kornilov told World Boxing News.
“So far, Shane Mosley, Mauricio Herrera, and Zab Judah have all said no to the fight in Moscow on November 28, even though we offered them $500k to fight Ruslan.
“We are now looking at a few options and can confirm that Jose Luis Castillo and Julio Diaz are on the list, but we don’t yet know whether Ruslan will fight at 140 or 147lbs until the opponent is final.”
One fight that came close to happening was a potential battle with Argentine Luis Carlos Abregu, who seemed receptive to fighting Provodnikov until stipulating certain weight demands that Kornilov says ended negotiations.
“Let’s get this right, we did not turn Abregu down as has been stated,” explained Kornilov. “We are ready to fight Abregu anytime, even though he is a big welterweight and Ruslan is really just a light-welterweight.
“We asked if Abergu would fight us at a catch-weight, which would be fair, and he said no. As he is not a champion and has we have nothing to gain from fighting him at welterweight, taking the fight meant nothing for us and we thought we do not have to chase after him and go up in weight to fight him.
“Also, the amount we were offered to fight Abregu was three-four times less than other fights that we are discussing for Ruslan right now,” he added.
At this point, Mexican veteran Castillo remains the frontrunner to seal the trip to Russia next month, having already recorded two stoppage wins this year since suffering a twelfth career-loss to Antwone Smith in 2013.
The 40 year-old has the credentials to make the fight an eye-catching one, although whether the aging star can cope with Provodnikov’s vicious punches is another story and an eighth stoppage could be on the cards for Castillo if the fight does go ahead.