Ruslan Provodnikov, he is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, he has waged war with the likes of Timothy Bradley, Mauricio Herrera, Mike Alvarado, Chris Algieri and Lucas Matthysse to name a few.
In those fights he is 1-4(1KO) only victory coming against Alvarado but the reverberations of the battle Ruslan Provodnikov 25-4(18KOs) left on those fighters will remain with them all throughout their careers.
Now John Molina Jr 28-6(23KOs) has the unenviable task of sharing the ring with the slightly crazy Russian fighter and I write that in the nicest of possible terms.
Molina is no shrinking violet either. The Californian is a character both inside and outside the ring, and his wanting of a slugfest is in tandem to Provodnikovs.
But while Molina dishes out punishment as stoppages of Hank Lundy and Mickey Bey suggest, he doesn’tt quite have the iron chin of his opponent. Molina has been stopped twice and has made the trip to the canvas on many occasions, but keeping Molina there is a very difficult task indeed.
His two stoppage loses have come at the hands of Antonio DeMarco inside one round, while Matthysse was forced to lobby everything but the kitchen sink to finally halt Molina in 11 of a classic.
Molina has also come up short on the cards against Martin Honorio, Andrey Klimov, Humberto Soto and Adrien Broner three defeats coming in his last 4 fights.
The pair will exchange blows that will force fans to wrinkle their faces in pain. This could last no longer than 5 rounds, or it could drag deep into the 12 rounds it is scheduled to go.
Either way the pick is more Provodnikov to come out on top. Molina can punch, but he has done a lot of his damage in the Lightweight division, and at the higher level he has come up short.
War is in the air this weekend (credit: Showtime Sports YouTube channel):
Demetrius Andrade 22-0(15KOs) looks to make his way into the big fights with a win over the capable Willie Nelson 25-2-1(15KOs).
Nelson is taller than Andrade but he is more used to fighting opponents on the other side of 6ft. But while the former WBO Light Middleweight champion is the heavy favourite, he must be aware of the heavy hands that Nelson can carry.
Tony Harrisons unbeaten record was shattered in the 9th round when Nelson turned the script in the fight. Nelson has also never been stopped which is a great testament to his character as on more than a few occasions he has been shaken to the core.
A stoppage is the sort of statement that Andrade wants to make if he is to lure the likes of Saul Alvarez. And so long as he doesn’tt become too comfortable, the feeling is that Andrade can become the first man to halt Clevelands Nelson.
Dejan Zlaticanin 21-0(14KOs) has seen two opponents withdraw this year from his shot at the WBC Lightweight title. Initially he was ordered to challenge Jorge Linares who was unable to make the defence through a fractured right hand.
Then the WBC set up a vacant title fight between Zlaticanin and European king Emiliano Marsili. Sadly, what would have been a very fascinating contest on the undercard of this show was scuppered as Marsili withdrew through illness.
Now the Montenegrin who beat Ricky Burns will face unknown Bolivian Franklin Mamani 21-2-1(12KOs).
Mamani has not lost since 2012 but he has not fought anyone at the level of Zlaticanin. His most recognisable foe was a faded DeMarcus Corley whom he beat on points.
Mamanis boxing should cause the shorter Zlaticanin some problems early but the way in which Dejan sets up his shots has made him a feared man in the division, and his powerful right hand should bring an end to a competitive fight somewhere around the 8th round.
A make-or-break fight for both combatants sees Willie Monroe Jr 19-2(6KOs) face John Thompson 17-2(6KOs).
Both are coming off the back of stoppage defeats in world title contests. Monroe Jr was halted in 6 by Gennady Golovkin in a spirited effort, while Thompson was knocked out by a vicious shot from Liam Smith in 7.
Monroe Jr is the natural Middleweight while Thompson is heading up in weight, although he is the taller fighter by several inches.
Neither are considered big punchers, but Thompson displayed some power when knocking out Brandon Adams the initial blow that set up the referees intervention was landed by Thompson with his back to the ropes.
The likelihood is that Thompson will have to go in search of Monroe Jr who also has a win over the likeable Adams.
Thompson is the more unpredictable, but I’ll side with the movement and intelligent boxing of Monroe Jr to win on the cards in this 10 rounder.
The post Ruslan Provodnikov vs John Molina: Card Preview and Prediction appeared first on %%Boxing News and Views/%%.