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Thread: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

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  1. #1
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    Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    2013 was a rare chance to celebrate for the Mansi peoples of Russia. Plagued by poverty and born into a world of piercing cold weather, the Mansi have little to warm their hearts. However the ten thousand native inhabitants of this region found joy and success in their son, who with the ferocity of his native environment and a will of iron managed to seize upon a world title in true Rocky style.

    Ruslan Provodnikov, the Siberian Rocky as he is affectionately known by his fans and fans of the sweet science alike, took the wider boxing audience by storm in 2013 with his two ring wars with Timothy Bradley and Mike Alvarado. Ruslan started life out in a small village in Siberia, learning about life in one of the harshest and most unforgiving climates in the world. Growing up he became accustomed to hunger and privation, having to go and find food for himself and his family in order to survive. His family would often eat their food; any meats, fish or vegetables they could gather, raw - and it is to this that he attributes his unsettling power. On certain festive occasions, the Mansi hunt wild bears and consume everything from the meat to the organs, including the heart which is a favourite of the Siberian Rocky.

    As a native Mansi in Russia, he often got into fights on the streets with people who disliked him because of the way he looked and he soon learn some of the skills that would serve him so well in the square circle. He started his boxing career in rural Siberia before scouts quickly picked up on his natural ability to fight. Soon he was on a regular ten hour train journey away to another district to hone his skills in one of the best boxing schools in Russia. In the gyms, he found a similar hatred toward his person by a few challengers who would call him deragotory names. However, the young Ruslan possessed a fire inside of him that would scold all those who provoked him as soon as they stepped into the ring.

    From the second the first bell rings and the third man steps back, Provodnikov becomes as unforgiving and relentless as the enviroment he was brought up in. He cuts off the ring in masterful fashion forever stalking his opponent. No matter what magnitude of punch his opponent throws at him, Provodnikov will return a salvo even harder. He unloads his troubles onto his opponent in the form of devastating hooks and uppercuts fired from every angle. True enough, commentators and analysts have stated that he is a Light Welterweight with the punching force of a natural Middleweight.

    His amatuer career took him to 150 fights, with him winning 130 of them providing him with a solid experience of the sport. As a professional in Russia he quickly caught the astute eye of Artie Pellulo, president of Banner Promotions. After coming to America Pellulo made sure Provodnikov was a regular on ESPN 2's Friday Night Fights and quickly gained the admiration of the audience with his exciting fighting style. Notably he won a decision over Demarcus Corley but lost a decision to Mauricio Herrera which was his first defeat as a professional. In this fight he found Herrera's awkward style to be troubling and wasn't able to pressure him into submission as he was his other opponents. That being said, the fight was very close and Herrera's face was battered and bludgeoned by the final bell. These experiences helped the Russian to grow as a fighter and ultimately led Ruslan Provodnikov onto the next chapter of his boxing story.

    The Siberian Rocky had gained notoreity through Friday Night Fights and the big names in boxing were starting to take note. The first to make a move toward the Russian fighter was veteran trainer Freddie Roach. Having started to train at Wild Card under the tutelage of the five time Trainer of the Year, Ruslan proved to be a quick learner and rapidly made improvements in his boxing game. No longer was he the one dimensional fighter who came forward throwing hook after hook. He sharpened his fundamentals, solidified his evident talents and fortified his ever increasing will to succeed. He had already come so far from that small rural village to the land of hope and dreams, training with the pound for pound great Manny Pacquiao and sparring with the Phillipino warrior countless times. This elite level of training that he had now undertaken became evident in his next fights as he scored two tremendous knockout victories, coming in rounds 6 and 2 respectively against David Torres and Jose Reynoso.

    Following up these impressive displays of skill and power, Provodnikov had managed to earn his shot at a world title. It had taken him time but he had earned it the hard way by taking any and all willing to dance with him. The fighter that would give him his shot was to be Timothy Bradley. 'Desert Storm' had just come off a controversial win over Manny Pacquiao for the WBO Welterweight Title - and although he had taken the victory - due to the controversy he still had a chip on his shoulder and wanted to go out and prove that he deserved his victory. Ruslan had been at the fight and was determined to right the wrong done to his stable-mate, sparring partner and close friend by beating Bradley. The stage was set for both fighters and many boxing analysts predicted a spectacular show.

    No-one could have been disappointed by the display of courage, heart, power and desire to win displayed by both fighters in 12 brutal rounds. Provodnikov came out in typical fashion, reminiscent of Cesar Chavez vs Camacho walking down his man and unloading at every oppurtunity that Bradley presented him. His persistence paid off in the first round when he caught the Desert Storm with a shot that sent him reeling backwards. To the delight of the crowd and Provodnikov it had seemed that the Siberian Rocky had scored a knockdown but Referee Pat Russell deemed it a slip and the fighters were allowed to continue - after Bradley had managed to stumble back up to an upright position. Provodnikov was keen to end the show early and seize upon his chance to become world champion, but the ever determined Bradley was ready to go out on his shield and swing his way out as a fierce firefight between two warriors ensued. Both men began to exchange vicious hooks with more heat than accuracy for several rounds, but neither managed to land the decisive blow needed to end the fight.

    The Siberian Rocky came on strong at the finish and wobbled Desert Storm again and with a few more hooks sent him to the canvas. Unfortunately for the Russian, with the clock about to run out, Bradley got up and claimed another controversial victory. Over the course of the bout, both fighters dug deep into their reserves of strength, will and courage to give the fans the Fight of the Year for 2013. Against Tim Bradley, Provodnikov realised what it takes to be an elite championship level boxer. He was determined after this to take his level of fitness to new heights and sharpen his tools ready for his next championship bout.

    His next opportunity took him to Denver, Colorado to face the WBO Light Welterweight champion Mike Alvarado. Ruslan had trained extremely hard for this fight and had every fibre and sinew in his body geared toward bringing the belt back to his native homeland. From the opening bell Ruslan exhibited what his fans had witnessed for many years, an all guts and glory fighter with serious punching power. From the moment Alvarado felt that power in the first round, his resolve was starting to break. Ruslan went onto claim the opening rounds, before coming on even stronger in the 6th. From that point on Alvarado was facing a tiger who could see his prey limping, looking for an end. The no mercy mauler forced the taller boxer to the ropes and started pummeling him head and body with sledgehammer shots, each one loaded with badness designed to shatter his opponent. After the 10th, Alvarado threw in the towel in front of his hometown crowd and Ruslan Provodnikov was declared the new WBO Light Welterweight Champion of the World.

    2013 was a year for Ruslan to remember and cherish for the rest of his life. He had finally achieved one of his dreams and his part on the big stage had just begun. On June 14th this year he is to face Chris Algieri (19-0) in the Barclays Centre, New York in the first defence of his new title. This will be another defining fight for Ruslan, who true to himself will come to give an insight to Algieri and all those watching into the privations of his past, the hunger that drives him and the unrelenting will that makes him. I have no doubt that the fight will be another unforgettable spectacle courtesy of the two warriors in the ring, this is certainly a fight not to be missed.

  2. #2
    El Dude
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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    The name of Rocky has to be well represented in the School of Boxing and in Siberia there is one who is more than worthy to wear the mask of Rocky. Ruslan Provodnikov has captured the hearts and imaginations from the world of Boxing and it us the fans who call him "The Siberian Rocky". Danny Garcia the WBC/WBA Champion of the world wants to fight the best and Ruslan Provodnikov is at that worthy list as he wears the WBO championship title of the world. Ruslan also wants Lamont Peterson the Knuckle Blaster holding up the IBF belt. El Dude wants to see Ruslan fight the best and not the rest.
    by El Dude.

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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Quote Originally Posted by El Dude View Post
    The name of Rocky has to be well represented in the School of Boxing and in Siberia there is one who is more than worthy to wear the mask of Rocky. Ruslan Provodnikov has captured the hearts and imaginations from the world of Boxing and it us the fans who call him "The Siberian Rocky". Danny Garcia the WBC/WBA Champion of the world wants to fight the best and Ruslan Provodnikov is at that worthy list as he wears the WBO championship title of the world. Ruslan also wants Lamont Peterson the Knuckle Blaster holding up the IBF belt. El Dude wants to see Ruslan fight the best and not the rest.
    by El Dude.
    How do you see Ruslan doing against DSG? I think he beats him, especially at 140... Although I'm a little biased..

    If he beats Algieri.. Arum could have him lined up to face Pacquiao. FOTY 2014? Yes please.



    I won't be on the forums until Saturday so fight the Provodnikov corner El Dude. The Siberian Warrior needs more hardcore pugilistic fans singing his praises!!

  4. #4
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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Great write up on Provodnikov, Skibbz.

    I will be honest, I saw many of Provodnikov's fights on ESPN2 and saw him as nothing more as an ESPN level fighter until the Bradley fight. He seemed to be a crude brawler who would be exposed as such when he stepped it up in competition. Boy was I wrong.

    He really showed his relentless style in the Bradley fight. And then followed that up in the Alvarado fight.

    Though he fights in a relentless brawling style, Provodnikov has very subtle skills that often go unnoticed. He is a master of cutting off the ring. He might not be fleet of foot but knows how to use footwork effectively to pin opponents in positions they don't want to be pinned.

    I also love Provodnikov's commitment to the body attack from the opening round. He may be the most committed body puncher in the sport from the start of a fight to the end. It was in part this constant body assault that broke Alvarado down in their fight.

    How far can Provodnikov go? We will see. He has better skills both offensively and defensively than another recent brawler that was featured frequently on HBO in Arturo Gatti. I would love to see a Pacquiao fight down the line but not sure if Arum would feed his cash cow to Provodnikov.

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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Nice writing skibbz, A fight vs Mathysee or Maidana would be entertaining, I believe he would knock out brawler charging Mathysee, with Maidana refined boxing skills the fight will be interesting, with lots of action.

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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Thank you for your comments, this is the first boxing article i've ever written so I appreciate your discussion.

    @riverside A fight with either Argentine would be one for an PPV undercard! I'm so surprised he hasn't made his way onto massive undercards but atleast now he's headlining his own shows! I think he beats Maidana, but Mattyhsse is a serious banger with a tough chin. I'd pay to see both!

    @Oubobcat Alvarado said it really well, Provodnikov tries to beat you with pure aggression. You are so right about the subtleties of his game. Not only can he cut off the ring but he can slip punches very well, he knows how to leave his left foot rooted when his opponent throws so he can come over the top with his own right hand. He never gives his opponents an inch.

    Unfortunately Provodnikov's fists are attracted to the head. He throws brilliant left hooks, looping rights and left uppercuts that cause hematoma's and concussion when they land. His trainers have always tried to get him to go to the body but when this pug is in the eye of the storm all he wants is the head. Every fight I shout to him to go downstairs to crack some ribs but Provodnikov doesn't always hear me..

    In terms of how far he can go.. I have always had this position for me in my head. (I'm not playing him down, just saying it how I think it is!) His role is that of the elite gatekeeper. He is the monster that must be slain before a fighter can truly be called an elite.

    Why do I say this? Because Provodnikov is beatable. I've watched all of his pro fights from the very beginning, i've watched hours of his amateur fights and i've spoken to the people that know him and his body well.

    To beat Provodnikov you must have tuned an engine that can work at the high gears fluidly and without faltering. You must also have the experience and skills to keep the wild mauler at bay. Attached to the strengths you must have power. Without power you can't dissuade the man from Beryozovo from coming in. Even with power it's incredibly hard and requires great courage to do, but it is possible.

    If you can use all those attributes together, then you will get past the monster and catapult yourself to stardom.. Hopefully.. It doesn't always work that way!

    The two losses on his CV come from two great fighters. Mauricio Herrera (who has gone on to arguably beat 140 champ Danny Garcia) and the fighter that beat both Pacquiao (???) and Marquez, Tim Bradley.

    Just for the record, I scored both those fights as wins for Provodnikov, but it is what it is.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Quote Originally Posted by Skibbz View Post
    Thank you for your comments, this is the first boxing article i've ever written so I appreciate your discussion.

    @riverside A fight with either Argentine would be one for an PPV undercard! I'm so surprised he hasn't made his way onto massive undercards but atleast now he's headlining his own shows! I think he beats Maidana, but Mattyhsse is a serious banger with a tough chin. I'd pay to see both!

    @Oubobcat Alvarado said it really well, Provodnikov tries to beat you with pure aggression. You are so right about the subtleties of his game. Not only can he cut off the ring but he can slip punches very well, he knows how to leave his left foot rooted when his opponent throws so he can come over the top with his own right hand. He never gives his opponents an inch.

    Unfortunately Provodnikov's fists are attracted to the head. He throws brilliant left hooks, looping rights and left uppercuts that cause hematoma's and concussion when they land. His trainers have always tried to get him to go to the body but when this pug is in the eye of the storm all he wants is the head. Every fight I shout to him to go downstairs to crack some ribs but Provodnikov doesn't always hear me..

    In terms of how far he can go.. I have always had this position for me in my head. (I'm not playing him down, just saying it how I think it is!) His role is that of the elite gatekeeper. He is the monster that must be slain before a fighter can truly be called an elite.

    Why do I say this? Because Provodnikov is beatable. I've watched all of his pro fights from the very beginning, i've watched hours of his amateur fights and i've spoken to the people that know him and his body well.

    To beat Provodnikov you must have tuned an engine that can work at the high gears fluidly and without faltering. You must also have the experience and skills to keep the wild mauler at bay. Attached to the strengths you must have power. Without power you can't dissuade the man from Beryozovo from coming in. Even with power it's incredibly hard and requires great courage to do, but it is possible.

    If you can use all those attributes together, then you will get past the monster and catapult yourself to stardom.. Hopefully.. It doesn't always work that way!

    The two losses on his CV come from two great fighters. Mauricio Herrera (who has gone on to arguably beat 140 champ Danny Garcia) and the fighter that beat both Pacquiao (???) and Marquez, Tim Bradley.

    Just for the record, I scored both those fights as wins for Provodnikov, but it is what it is.
    Nice article, Skibbz - I too scored those fights for Provo.

    I write this not because I share a ring and a sparring partner with Algieri, but because I’ve watched him tune himself and refine himself into twice the fighter he was 6 fights ago - gone are all the overeager habits, and in their place is a subtle, quick, strong, intelligent, and accurate guy with pop but not nukes in his fists, but more than a hundred of them a round, every round, who can throw up the middle and around tight corners. He is also in phenomenal shape to continue the tenderizing task. Beating Provo will be a task, but I can see him frustrating and outpointing him, or swelling that puffy face up to the point where a ref would step in. Do Not Underestimate Algieri. He is at this time a truly fine junior welter, who will also share a considerable height advantage along with the slick skills and speed. Just an insider view. Have I ever been way off here, guys?

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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Great write up Skibbz, I think we all stand with you in appreciating the Siberian machine and the whippings he's capable of dishing out with those heavy hands of his. I'm all for seeing him fight the best; maybe a DSG or a rematch with Bradley, though I don't know how game those guys are on taking a fight with him! DSG's about to vacate the 140 pound division after another fight, and I'm pretty sure Bradley will do anything duck, slip and slide away from a Provo rematch- it's one headache he doesn't need if you know what I mean!

    My only criticisms of the Provodnikov are maybe his tendency, as you say, to head hunt, and also his habit of putting on the pounds between fights (too much raw Siberian bear meat?), which could harm his longevity at the top level. The guy's such a great warrior though, I hate to criticise.

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    Re: Ruslan Provodnikov - The Siberian Rocky

    Thank you Grey Man and welcome to the Fight Forums. I would love to see a fight with DSG in the future but I don't think the Garcia camp are interested in letting their 'true champ' get in a fist up with the Russian. Those heavy hands as you said would put some serious hurt on Danny. Bradley can't even remember the Provo fight... Leaving a fight wheelchair bound is almost commonplace for him these days..

    The problem with all these belts is that it makes champions of guys that really shouldn't be.. Then when guys get them they're eager to hold onto them and ignore other champions.

    We need more guys out to unify, more fighters out to take on all challengers and to beat into submission all the other fighters in and around them. Boxing has to remain tough, there's no room for the feint of heart in this sport!!!


    You're right about Ruslan gaining kg's in between bouts. He is a human like all of us and he is susceptible to enjoying the fruits (or fats) of his labours - sometimes to his hearts content.. The reason he bloated after the Alvarado fight was because he was advised to take a recuperation break by his team and many of his family came over from Russia so there was inevitable feasting to his successes!

    That being said, come fight night Ruslan is ready to bang away with badness at his opponent. I heard that Ruslan can punch the bark off trees... That he can smash boulders into dust and knock out cows with one right hand. Best of luck to Algieri!

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