The contest lived up to all expectations as the pair of hard-hitters engaged each other throughout, although the patient boxing by Matthysse ultimately won the day.
Provodnikov fought face-first in his usual style and took everything Matthysse could dish out for the full 36 minutes without so much as a flinch. That lack of head movement cost ‘The Siberian Rocky’ in the end though as sheer volume of punches landed saw Matthysse edge out a 115-113 triumph on my card.
Two of the ringside judges agreed with me, whilst the other had it a 114-114 draw, which could well mean another helping of this war happens at some point this year.
Ukrainian middleweight Viktor Kopylenko scored a 25th win from 26 bouts with a decisive eight-round decision win over Lekan Byfield.
Kopylenko, 31, was on top for the majority of the bout and rightfully took the clash 79-70 on the judges cards to record back-to-back victories.
Also on the bill, Patrick Teixeira knocked out Patrick Allotey for his 21st stoppage win in 25 fights, whilst Eddie Gomez pushed his record to 18-1 with a second successive victory as opponent Jonathan Batista failed to come out for the sixth round.
The 22 year-old is on the comeback trail following a surprise defeat to Francisco Santana last June and will certainly eyeing bigger challenges later in the year.
Lamont Roach UD over Jose Castro with all three cards by 60-54 margins, whilst Sidney McCow halted winless Paulo Souza in the first round. Vitor Jones Freitas out-pointed Guillermo Sanchez as all three judges saw the fight 59-55.