Legendary trainer Freddie Roach believes Saturday night’s clash between knockout kings Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse is ‘the greatest match up in the world’.
The pair will lock horns at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in New York, in one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of the year, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
The showdown is certain to produce fireworks, with Provodnikov’s Hall-of-Fame trainer Roach believing that this is a fight worthy of the attention it has garnered.
“It’s the greatest match up in the world. You’ve got two guys that love to fight, two guys that are great punchers. It’s going to be a very exciting fight – that’s for sure,” said Roach.
“It’s the best fight and the best is what we need. This is what’s going on in boxing right now and that’s why everything is really happening in boxing bigger than ever at this point because of fights like this,” he said.
LA based Roach will not be in his fighter’s corner this weekend, however, as he looks to prepare his star pupil Manny Pacquiao for his impending clash with pound-for-pound ace Floyd Mayweather.
Though this will have little bearing on the outcome according to Roach, who will send his right-hand man Marvin Somodio to run the rule over proceedings.
“The Pacquiao fight is very important right now but Ruslan is very important also. I work with him every day in the gym. He and Marvin have a good rapport together. Marvin knows what to do. He’s a very good trainer,” said Roach.
“They understand what I want and just because I’m not there it doesn’t make a difference. Ruslan will still fight his fight and Marvin will make the adjustments along the way. There will be no problem whatsoever. It’s not the first or last time this has happened in my life,” he said.
31-year-old Provodnikov burst onto the scene with a scintillating performance in his narrow loss to Timothy Bradley before going on to capture the WBO light-welterweight world title from Mike Alvarado.
He is now looking to get himself back into the mix for a world title shot following a split decision loss to New Yorker Chris Algieri last year and is aware of the significance of this fight not only to his career but to boxing fans.
“I expect the same as all the fans – this is a very exciting match up. This is going to be a great fight and I think that for me it’s no less than to all the people watching. For me it’s exciting as well and these types of fights are what’s important,” said Provodnikov.
“Because for me the fight and the money as I’ve said many times, they’re not number one. Number one is I want my fights to be part of history, and I think this is one of those fights that is destined to be part of history.
“That’s what I want to give my people back home – these fights that people will remember because not all the fights that are world title fights are remembered. The type of fight that will happen between Matthysse and I is one that’s definitely going to be remembered forever,” he said.
Both Provodnikov and Matthysse are renowned for their come-forward aggressive style, with the Siberian stopping 17 of his 27 opponents and the Argentine Matthysse having knocked out 34 in his 36 wins.
32-year-old Matthysse, who was involved in last year’s ‘Fight of the Year’ with his victory over John Molina, thinks that his next battle has the potential to win another such accolade.
“For last year’s fight I’ve got to give credit to John Molina because he came to fight and he allowed me to perform in a way that made it ‘Fight of the Year’,” said Matthysse.
“If Ruslan comes forward and is aggressive and does the same thing, then, yes [I think it can be another Fight of the Year]. I’m going to seize that opportunity and try to take advantage of that and make it an exciting fight. I think it could be a great fight. But, you know, it takes two,” he said.
Matthysse vs Provodnikov joins a mega night live on BoxNation this Saturday from 7pm BST, starting with Liverpool’s Derry Matthews who fights for the vacant interim WBA lightweight title against Tony Luis at the Echo Arena.
Unbeaten light-middleweight Liam Smith is also on the card as he takes on David Ezequiel Romero for the vacant WBO Intercontinental title.
Then BoxNation heads Stateside as it brings two massive bills starting with Matthysse-Provodnikov before heading over to Arlington Texas where rising pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford looks to become a two-weight world champion as he takes on slick Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme for the vacant WBO light-welterweight world title.
Matthysse v Provodnikov is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD, Virgin 546 and TalkTalk 525) this Saturday night. Visit BoxNation to subscribe.