Russian puncher Ruslan Provodnikov would be willing to listen to any offer for an IBF welterweight title chance against Kell Brook despite his manager’s reservations over hometown judging decisions.
Brook is known to be on the lookout for an opponent for his October UK return and at this point is rumoured to be in talks with rough and ready Argentinian Diego Chaves after negotiations for a fight with Brandon Rios cooled down earlier this year.
Super lightweight Provodnikov is open to moving up in weight once again in order to fill the position opposite Brook, although manager Vadim Kornilov says any deal would hinge on officiating for the fight due to what he sees as a tendency to favour British fighters on home turf.
Provodnikov has already been on the losing side of four close decisions in his career against Lucas Matthysse, Chris Algieri, Timothy Bradley and Mauricio Herrera and Kornilov would be keen to avoid a scenario where the venue could play any part.
“We can definitely consider facing Kell Brook in the UK as an option,” Kornilov exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Ruslan is definitely interested in fighting Kell Brook even though he’s one weight division above, but we would need to clarify all the details on the offer for the fight before we make any decision.
“Unfortunately boxing in the UK is known for bad decisions that always lean towards the UK fighter. This is usual in most countries, but the UK stands out in that sense and we have to make sure we do what’s right and protect our fighter. Ruslan has had enough bad decisions in his career,” he added.
At 31, and having lost three of his last five contests, Provodnikov needs a victory to keep himself in contention to face the biggest names in the division in Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao and Kornilov may ultimately decide that the risk outweighs the reward – should any offer come from Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn.