Slugger Ruslan Provodnikov meets with promoter to discuss future
Ruslan Provodnikov is out for the rest of 2016 and is unsure if he will ever fight again following his upset-loss to John Molina Jr. on June 11 on Showtime. However, his longtime promoter thinks he’s leaning toward fighting again.
In a meeting with Provodnikov (25-5, 18 knockouts) on Monday in Los Angeles to discuss his future, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions was left with the impression that Provodnikov doesn’t want to retire on such a poor performance.
“We talked a little bit about his career,” Pelullo said in a phone interview. “I believe he still wants to fight again. He didn’t say it. He just said, ‘I want to think about it more.’ He said, ‘I’m not sure if I want to stop fighting and go out on that note. I don’t know if I want that to be my last moment in the ring.’ And he said, ‘I’ll let you know.’”
Nothing definitive was resolved. Pelullo plans to travel to Provodnikov’s hometown region of Siberia in late September for an amateur tournament the boxer is running and plans to pick up the discussion there. “So probably in September I’ll have a better handle because he’ll have another six to eight weeks to figure out what he wants to do,” said Pelullo.
Regardless of what he decides, Provodnikov, 32, won’t come back before the year is up, Pelullo said. Provodnikov had just signed a multi-fight deal with Showtime before the surprising loss to Molina. In that fight, Provodnikov, a rugged former titleholder, didn’t have his usual spunk and aggression and allowed Molina to control the pace of the bout. It was his fourth loss in his past seven fights, dating back to a controversial loss to Timothy Bradley in 2013. Still, because of Provodnikov’s kamikaze-like style, in which he endures punishment to land his own punches, he will likely remain a fan favorite and there will be an appetite for his return.