Ruslan Provodnikov looks to impress against John Molina
By Hector Franco
Earlier this year when Showtime announced their upcoming summer schedule, one of the most surprising names on the list was Ruslan Provodnikov. Before the move over to Showtime, Provodnikov was a staple of HBO. He was a fighter who was willing to take on quality opposition. He faced the likes of Chris Algieri, Lucas Matthysse, and Timothy Bradley on the network. All of his fights with HBO were highly entertaining and attracted good ratings for the network. HBO may have taken the Russian for granted. It’s their loss.
This Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York Ruslan Provodnikov will take on John Molina. This venue is a place that brings these two men memories of a common opponent in Lucas Matthysse. Both men participated in fight of the year candidates against the Argentinean brawler. Both men came up short. The fights with Matthysse give fans the inclination that a fight between Molina and Provodnikov will be exciting. The question is how much does John Molina have left?
Molina with fans falls into a similar boat that Orlando Salido was in a week ago. Fans know that they will get a fighter that gives it his all in the ring with Molina. Molina, however, hasn’t looked good in recent performances. He may have scored a knockout in his last fight against Jorge Romero last November, but just before that he looked at his worst against Adrien Broner. It was on the first telecast on NBC for the PBC. Molina was the underdog in the fight against Broner, but he was expected to bring the fight to the Ohio native. What took place was a listless performance from Molina. His effort came into question in the fight. Even before the Broner fight, Molina was out boxed and out worked by former, lightweight champion, Humberto Soto. A fighter that is clearly past his prime. Molina still has his punch, but against Provodnikov, he may need more than that to survive.
Ruslan Provodnikov is 3-3 in his last six fights. Recently he switched trainers from Freddie Roach to Joel Diaz. After his war with Lucas Matthysse in April 015, it’s hard to imagine anybody being able to hit hard enough to hurt Provodnikov. In all of his wins in the past six fights against Jesus Rodriguez, Jose Luis Castillo, and Mike Alvarado, Provodnikov has looked devastating with his power. Against John Molina, he hopes for the same results. Molina should provide for an exciting match up for however long it lasts. If it can reach the heights of last weeks Vargas-Salido match up, fans will rejoice. If Provodnikov has his way his debut on Showtime will be the start of a new beginning and a long run against the best the welterweight division has to offer.
(Featured Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)