by Eric “Sugar Foot” Duran
Not every great fight has to pit two box office hits against each other. Any real boxing fan knows and understands, the best fights usually involve two lesser known commodities.
All athletes have off nights, they’re only human. However, in boxing, an off night can cost you years of stardom and millions of dollars. Lucas Matthysse was Ruslan Provodnikov before Ruslan– the killing machine perceived to be unbeatable. It all changed in one evening.
Ruslan Provodnikov was a shooting star on the verge of becoming a superstar. After a thrilling losing performance against Timothy Bradley and a beat down of Mike Alvarado, The Siberian Rocky had stardom written all over him. It all changed in one evening.
Both fighters need a high-profile opponent and a high-profile fight. What better than to fight each other? It’s an exhilarating match up, almost guaranteeing a night of fireworks and brutal action. Is it a PPV worthy main event? To me, yes, I would pay to watch this fight. But to the general public, not quite. However, talk about a PPV co-main event! I honestly believe this is a can’t miss classic, nothing they’ve done in their careers tells me different.
Stylistically, they’re identical. They both track and stalk their prey, capitalizing on mistakes. They both hit like a mule, leaving opponents counting sheep and seeing stars. They’re fan favorites, respected for their come forward, take no prisoners style. Ruslan holds a slight edge in power punching but I believe Matthysse is the more complete boxer. Both fighters have granite chins, but Ruslan tastes the canvas less. Matthysse has faced the better competition, but only slightly. Ruslan may carry the fan base, but not by much. In the end, it’s one of the biggest, most exciting, action packed match-ups realistically available.
I believe the best aspect of the bout, though, is not the actual action it will provide. It’s the scenarios and big fights the winner will provide to other big name counterparts.
So who wins?
Quite frankly, the fans, period. In the Matchmaker series, I always pick a winner, leaving room for banter and differencing opinions. However, I am a fan’s writer and, most importantly, a fan myself. So I present, the fight of year, Lucas Matthysee vs Ruslan Provodnikov. It would be a win-win for everyone.