Russian juggernaut Ruslan Provodnikov (24-3-0, 17ko) slugs it out with fellow knockout puncher Lucas Matthysse (36-3-0, 34ko) at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, next month, in a fight that the industry are pre-billing as an early fight of the year candidate.
For former WBO super lightweight title holder Provodnikov, who stopped Jose Luis Castillo in five rounds last November, there are only two possible outcomes in this bout: 1; he is awarded an end-of-year fight of the year honour or, 2; he claims the knockout of the year prize.
“This fight is going to be a real war,” Boxing News quoted Provodnikov, 31, to have said. “If it is not a Fight of The Year, then it will have a candidate for KO of The Year. I am almost 100 percent [certain] this fight ends with a KO.”
While Provodnikov will look to bring warfare to the East Coast ring on April 18, Matthysse – despite 13 of his last wins all ending in stoppage victory – may well rely on his boxing ability, rather than his big-punching asset.
The Argentine’s coach Luis Barrera recently informed Boxing Scene that his charge will make it his fight. He said: “We will see Lucas work with his boxing because he’s not just a puncher. If Ruslan comes looking, he will find Matthysse boxing. Lucas is a great fighter not only a great puncher.”
Concluded Provodnikov: “[Matthysse] is certainly one of the toughest opponents of my career.
“[But] I am ready and prepared for that [war].”