Former WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov aims to put his disappointing defeat to Chris Algieri behind him tonight when the big-punching Russian faces Mexican legend Jose Luis Castillo.
Provodnikov returns home for the first time in three years when facing Castillo, who was a surprise choice for many, although the 30 year-old did admit he had limited options to choose from for his 27th professional bout.
“I didn’t pick the fight. My promoter and manger have offered a fight with me to many different opponents that have a name or somewhat of a name in the sport and they all turned it down even though it was for very good money,” Provodnikov explained to World Boxing News.
“The promoter in Russia wanted the opponent to be a big name opponent, so we got the only guy who has a big enough name that wanted the fight.”
Asked whether he believes Castillo still has the tools to compete when approaching his 41st birthday, Provodnikov added: “Definitely. If he takes this fight seriously, considering his experience, I think it will be a very good fight.
“This fight is very big as I am returning home. I know a lot of people have been waiting for me to fight in Russia, so I really have been wanting to present all my fans at home with an opportunity to see me live in my home country.”
A win is imperative for Provondnikov to get back in the mix to be considered for fights with top operators in the division as ‘The Siberian Rocky’ was linked to challenges against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquioa before suffering the shock loss to Algieri in April.
Provodnikov is predictably primarily focusing on the task at hand against a experienced opponent, but stated that whenever the call comes for him to meet the biggest names he will be up for the facing the best around.
“Of course I want to face the champions, but I’m not thinking about that right now. The belts are not that important, but definitely fighting for a title is always motivating for me.
“I can also fight either weight class so that gives me lots of options and if Floyd Mayweather would ever fight me I would be ready anytime,” said Provodnikov.