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Timothy Bradley takes out Ruslan Provodnikov in welterweight fight

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Timothy Bradley improved his record to 30-0 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Timothy Bradley (left) improved his record to 30-0 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Three thoughts on Timothy Bradley’s wildly entertaining win over Ruslan Provodnikov:

Who saw this coming?

Bradley, the defending champion who has spent his career competing against top competition, was a heavy favorite coming in against Provodnikov, a 140-pounder best known for being Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner. But from the opening bell, it was clear this was no mismatch. Both Provodnikov and Bradley came out aggressive, but while Bradley landed the higher volume of punches, Provodnikov’s carried more steam behind them. Provodnikov had Bradley rocked multiple times in the first two rounds, including a shot in the first that appeared to knock Bradley down, to the point where he stumbled twice just trying to get up. Referee Pat Russell ruled it a slip, and Bradley recovered to control the action until the 12th round, when an aggressive Provodnikov swarmed him with power punches and put him down with less than 20 seconds to go. The final scores (114-113, twice, and 115-12) were right, given that judges are handcuffed by what the referee calls. But if Russell had ruled a first-round knockdown, the fight would have been scored a draw.

Provodnikov blew it

Credit Provodnikov for fighting through a nasty cut above his left eye, and credit him for absorbing an enormous amount of punishment from Bradley, but remember this: Several times, Provodnikov had Bradley listless—Bradley admitted after the fight he believes he suffered a concussion in the first two rounds—where one or two clean punches would have put him down, and Provodnikov ran out of gas. He took the entire third round off and didn’t seem to regain his energy until the last two rounds, when trainer Freddie Roach told him he needed to show him something or he would stop the fight. When Provodnikov watches this fight—and I’m guessing he will, a lot—he is going to kick himself for not having the energy to put Bradley down when he had chances.

Bradley moves on

You, me and everyone else would like to see a rematch, but Top Rank has bigger things in store for Bradley. Promoter Bob Arum is pushing a form of a tournament featuring Bradley, the winner of the March 30th rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado, and the winner of the likely rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. In all likelihood, Bradley will get the winner of Rios-Alvarado, which given the punching power of both will be no easy task.

As for Provodnikov, well, whether it’s at 140- or 147-pounds, expect him to be back on HBO just as soon as he is physically able. His relentless, stalking style is television friendly, and after his performance against Bradley, there is no doubt he can hold his own against any of the top contenders in the two weight classes.

- Chris Mannix

  • Published On Mar 17, 2013
  • 13 comments
    TomMcHugh
    TomMcHugh

    Arum should be investigated!

     

    TomMcHugh
    TomMcHugh

    Another boxing disgrace because of a referee's mistake and BAD judging. Provodnikov was robbed! Can anyone guess why boxing is losing its audience?

    Henry M
    Henry M

    "Takes out" would imply Bradley Knocked Out  Provodnikov not almost KNOCKED OUT by Provodnikov in the closing seconds of the fight. If that "SLIP" was correctly ruled a knock down this fight gets scored  114-113, 114-113 for Provodnikov & 114-113 for Bradley we'd be talking a MD win for Provodnikov not Bradley. That's back to back fights where Bradley was helped by poor officiating & poor Judging. Add Provodnikov to the list of fighters Mayweather & Pacquiao will never fight and no rematch with Bradley. Too much risk no reward. Bradley get too much credit for surviving because he didn't dominate. Good fight over all best fight to date.

    EscritorJuan
    EscritorJuan

    That headline was grossly misleading; Bradley did not take Provonikov OUT, but instead was nearly taken out on a handful of occasions, himself! 

    SteveStahler
    SteveStahler

    should be Ruslan Provodnikov takes out Bradley and still loses fight. Bradley is a B fighter like Ortiz and Berto. Ruslan  stiffed. Arum BLOWS.

    Martin Dean
    Martin Dean

    A RUSSIAN FIGHTER BY THE NAME OF PROVODNIKOV CLEARLY  WAS ROBBED OF A WIN OVER A HURTING STUMBLING TIMOTHY BRADLEY ! BRADLEY WAS ABSOLUTELY KNOCKED DOWN IN THE FIRST ROUND , BUT PAT RUSSELL DECLARED IT A SLIP ! RUSSELL USUALLY KNOWN AS 1 OF THE BEST REFEREES WORKING IN THE BOXING BUSINESS STUNNED TV LAND AND THE LIVE CROWD BY CALLING THIS A SLIP WHEN IT CLEARLY WAS A KNOCKDOWN !! IN THE 12TH AND FINAL ROUND BRADLEY WAS AGAIN KNOCKED DOWN SO BADLY HE BARELY WAS ABLE 2 FINISH THE FIGHT AND WAS SAVED BY THE BELL IN THE LAST SECONDS OF THIS ROTTON TRAVESTY OF A FIGHT 2 THE POOR RUSSIAN WHO LOST BY DECISION ! HE CLOCKED BRADLEY 2 TIMES , AND BAD , MOST LIKELY BAD ENOUGH I DOUBT BRADLEY WILL WANT A REMATCH WITH THIS POWER PUNCHING RUSSIAN , BUT I'M SURE  THE RUSSIAN BOXER , PROVODNIKOV WANTS HIS REMATCH !!!!!! 2 NITE BRADLEY SHOWED THE WORLD HE CAN NOT TAKE A PUNCH !!! THIS IS HIS 2ND LOSS IN A ROW COUNTING THE 1 HE WAS GIVEN THE WIN OVER MANNY PACQUIAO WHICH TRULY SHOWED HE LOST , THEN WITH THE 2 KNOCKDOWNS 2 NITE BY THIS UNKNOWN RUSSIAN FIGHTER , THEY CALL PROVODNIKOV , BY PAT RUSSELL CALLING A KNOCKDOWN A SLIP , BRADLEY WAS AWARDED ANOTHER WIN , BUT IN REALITY , BRADLEY CLEARLY LOST ONCE AGAIN !! BOXING IS APPEARING 2 B MORE CORRUPT EVERY TIME I WATCH A NEW FIGHT !! EVEN THE ANNOUNCERS CALLED THAT FIRST ROUND A KNOCKDOWN CLEARLY A KNOCKDOWN NOT A SLIP . PAT RUSSELL , U REALLY MISSED THE BOAT ON THAT 1 SATURDAY NITE !!!!!!!   @ChristopherD.Boyle @joeshine730 @KevinCaines @

    ChristopherD.Boyle
    ChristopherD.Boyle

    I was present at this fight so please believe what I say.  First, sparse crowd, barely 60% sold. Second, lousy production, no timer clock for rounds for the audience, no monitors showing HBO feed, thumbs down to Home Depot Center and HBO, third, the Russian won this fight and even in the pro Bradley crowd many said so.  About one in 10 were convinced Bradley won.  The rest of us were embarrassed for such an obvious robbery.  Bradley has now won a title and defended same all while the the sh*t kicked out of himself?  Don King?  Who needs him when you have HBO and Bob Arun Productions.  

    joeshine730
    joeshine730

    Bradley barely beat a guy not even ranked. Bradley is a bum. Paulie beats Bradley.

    Martin Dean
    Martin Dean

     @Henry M POOR OFFICIATING WON THE FIGHT 4 BRADLEY , PLAIN AND SIMPLE !! BRADLEY WAS CLEARLY KNOCKED DOWN , IT WAS NOT A SLIP ON A POORLY CALLED DECISION BY PAT RUSSELL , WHO IS KNOWN 2 B 1 OF THE TOP REFEREES IN THE BUSINESS ! @Martin Dean 

    Martin Dean
    Martin Dean

     @joeshine730 BRADLEY ONCE AGAIN WAS UNDER THE PROTECTION OF A HORRIBLE CALL BY PAT RUSSELL ! A KNOCKDOWN IS WHEN ANY PART OF A FIGHTERS PERSON TOUCHES THE CANVAS ! THIS COULDN'T HAVE BEEN ANY MORE CLEAR AS SEEN BY ALL IN TV LAND AND AT THE LIVE FIGHT !! IT DEFINITELY WAS NOT A SLIP ! @Martin Dean 

    Henry M
    Henry M

     @joeshine730

     I think Paulie Malignaggi has no shot vs Broner. Repeat performance of Paulie vs : Cotto, Khan, & Hatton but it would be an interesting match vs Bradley. I think Bradley would take it by UD based on his fight vs Provodnikov.