Editorials

Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Lucas Matthysse: A Fight for the Real Boxing Fan

Matthysse Provodnikov

It is safe to say that America is in the midst of the resurgence of boxing to the upper echelon of mainstream sports due to the return of pugilism to network television, as well as being on the verge of the much anticipated Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao super fight.

These new boxing endeavors are working well to attract the casual sports fan back to the boxing fan base. But what about the undying and ever faithful boxing fans, best known as “boxing heads,” what are they given in reward for their loyalty?

The answer is simple: Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Lucas Matthysse.

“The Siberian Rocky,” Provodnikov is set to take on Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse this Saturday on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, live from Verona, New York. This will be a 12-round fight in the Junior Welterweight division.

For this fight, there is no championship belt on the line, no title defense or guaranteed title shot to the winner of the match. Thus, to the casual boxing fan a fight like this could be easily overlooked, but the boxing heads of the world see this fight very differently.

Die-hard fans are practically drooling at the mere thought of these two power punchers meeting in the ring and letting their hands go, as it very well could be the 2015 fight of the year.

The phrase “styles make fights” is well known in the boxing world, and this fight should be an epic stylistic matchup as both Matthysse and Provodnikov have proven that they are fearlessly willing to trade power punches with their opponents.

So will this fight be a close-range slug fest? A fight in a phone booth? Probably not. Provodnikov has never been dropped in his 27 wins and three loss professional record, which includes fights against Welterweight and Jr. Welterweight stand outs like Timothy Bradley, Mike Alvarado and his most recent loss to Chris Algeri.

To never be knocked down against that kind of a resume speaks volumes to Ruslan’s ability to take a punch and then continue to trade shots. Matthysse has a good chin himself but has been knocked down in his recent fights, twice against John Molina Jr. and once by Danny Garcia.

There is no doubt that the fight on Saturday night will be hard hitting and powerful. The unwritten rule of being a power puncher is that what you dish out, you must also be able to take. So this fight comes down to who can dish out the punishment on to their opponent and either withstand the return fire or find a way to circumvent it.

Provodnikov should look to keep the fight at close range in order to land more flurries of power shots against Matthysse and also so that he can land his ever painful body shots. Ruslan should then attempt to continue to keep that pressure on him in hopes that he can break The Machine down and land a knockout blow.

Matthysse on the other hand will probably look to out move the flat-footed Provodnikov, in an attempt to use angles to land his shots effectively. This approach is what created Chris Algeri’s success in his shocking split decision victory over Provodnikov. The difference is Matthysse has a power behind his punches that Algeri does not have, so if Lucas can find the right angles to land his power shots it could be poetry in motion.

Which ever fighter is able to most effectively land their power shots and stay standing should find themselves the victor. This fight could go two rounds or 12 rounds, it is hard to say.

Regardless of the winner of the fight on Saturday night, one thing is for sure, the real prizewinner is the boxing head, the dedicated fan that knows “styles make fights.”

To the perpetual and ever faithful boxing fan, this is your fight, your reward has arrived.

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