Thursday, December 01, 2022  |



Promoter: Ruslan Provodnikov-Lucas Matthysse in talks


Talks are ongoing for a junior welterweight bout between RING No. 1-rated Lucas Matthysse and No. 4 Ruslan Provodnikov for March or April, according to Provodnikov’s promoter, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions.

“I have talked to Golden Boy [Promotions] about Matthysse,” said Pelullo during a Monday interview with “Both sides are interested in making the fight.”

A former WBO 140-pound titleholder nicknamed “The Siberian Rocky,” Provodnikov (24-3, 17 knockouts) is coming off a fifth-round knockout over former lightweight titleholder Jose Luis Castillo in November.

In his previous fight in June, Provodnikov, 30, lost his WBO junior welterweight title by split decision to Chris Algieri, this after having won the belt by 10th round stoppage over Mike Alvarado, whom he dropped twice last October.

Nicknamed “La M├íquina” or “The Machine,” Matthysse (36-3, 34 KOs) has scored consecutive stoppages in the 11th and second rounds over John Molina in April and previously unbeaten Roberto Ortiz in September.

If Pelullo cannot land Matthysse, he may pursue bouts with RING No. 3-pound-for-pound-rated Manny Pacquiao, who is reportedly close to reaching a deal to face RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pounder Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Brandon Rios should the latter win a Jan. 24 rubber match against Alvarado. Having split their prior bouts as junior welterweights, Rios and Alvarado will contest their thrid bout as welterweights.

“The Top Rank [Promotions] side right now, they’re working on Pacquiao and Mayweather. There has been no conversation and there has been some conversation that if Mayweather does not happen with Pacquiao, then Ruslan would be one of the players that is being looked at to talk to but I believe that there are three or four fighters that they’re looking at,” said Pelullo.

“But we’re working on Ruslan coming back to fight in March or April. If it’s the Pacquiao fight that happens and if that should come through, then that’s great and that’s something that we would love to do. But should that not happen, then we want Ruslan in the ring in March or April against a viable opponent and that could also be Rios if he beats Alvarado. But Matthysse has been talking about us making that fight.”

If not a rematch against Tim Bradley, Provodnikov’s manager, Vadim Kornilov would also entertain a bout with RING No. 9-rated welterweight Marcos Maidana.

“We are looking for a big comeback fight in the United States for Ruslan,” said Kornilov. “Lucas Matthysse, Manny Pacquiao, Marcos Maidana and Timothy Bradley are all fights that we are currently looking into and would be interesting for the fans and the networks.”