Nobody cared about this battle; significantly, nobody. A reality confirmed by pictures of the stands on the Dwelling Depot Middle between rounds on HBO, which revealed row upon row of empty seats. And whereas one may very well be forgiven for considering an official win over Manny Pacquiao would translate into ticket gross sales, the reality is that, rightly or wrongly, Timothy Bradley had obtained virtually zero credit score for his twelve spherical break up resolution victory over “The Pacman,” as few may take the judges’ verdict significantly. Bradley’s subsequent lack of ability to be gracious in regards to the bogus win additionally did nothing to endear him to battle followers.
In the meantime, Ruslan Provodnikov was an entire unknown besides to hardcore battle freaks making observe of his victories over Emanuel Augustus and DeMarcus Corley. In any other case, this was considered as a tune-up for Bradley as he sought to get himself again in competition for some main paydays. Most anticipated one other ho-hum “Desert Storm” battle together with his superior athletic expertise permitting him to cruise to a call win. The competition was additional assured minimal hype and curiosity by its being scheduled on the identical evening as a significant UFC occasion, Georges St-Pierre vs Nick Diaz. One puzzled if the folks at Prime Rank have been as uninspired by this match-up as most boxing followers.
However, as many famous afterwards, any followers who blew off Bradley vs Provodnikov to look at St-Pierre do his factor have been little doubt regretting their resolution the following morning. All low expectations have been overturned, and quick, as the 2 welterweights collided on the opening bell like a pair of runaway trains, each males slinging hellacious pictures proper from the beginning. The extra highly effective Russian challenger received the most effective of it as he floored Bradley with a thudding proper hand, however by some means referee Pat Russell blew the decision and dominated what was clearly a clear knockdown a slip. Clearly harm, Bradley absorbed a horrible pounding for a lot of spherical one, and the beating continued within the second as Provodnikov’s energy pictures despatched the champion staggering all around the ring.
Exhibiting astonishing grit, Bradley got here again within the third, asserting himself behind flurries of sharp punches. Forwards and backwards it went, with Bradley touchdown extra, and at occasions clearly out-boxing the challenger, whereas Provodnikov by no means stopped stalking and firing again when he may. He harm “Desert Storm” badly within the sixth and eleventh rounds, and at last scored a knockdown within the closing seconds of the battle, however the truth is “The Siberian Rocky” certainly ‘rocked’ Bradley at quite a few factors. It was a grueling and violent wrestle that took a lot out of each males.
An in depth resolution hinged on whether or not or not rounds one and two have been deemed two level stanzas, in addition to how a lot credit score one selected to offer Bradley for his larger punch output. Some thought Provodnikov deserved the nod, however most agreed with the judges for whom Bradley did simply sufficient to drag it out. Nevertheless, had the referee received the decision proper on the primary spherical knockdown, the official consequence would have been a draw which, all issues thought of, might need been the fairest of outcomes.
When it comes to sheer carnage, this was a warfare for the ages, one which went on to be on the prime of most “Struggle of the 12 months” lists for 2013. In no way stunning contemplating that one had to return to Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo, or Micky Ward vs Arturo Gatti, to search out comparable high-drama showdowns the place each boxers absorbed alarming quantities of punishment. At battle’s finish Provodnikov’s face seemed like somebody had tried to place it by means of a meat grinder, whereas Bradley candidly informed HBO interviewer Max Kellerman he was undoubtedly concussed. After the choice had been introduced, the champion was nonetheless so dazed he couldn’t even mount the ropes to have fun, aborting his effort the second he received his toes off the canvas.
As Bob Arum acknowledged after the bout, there have been, in fact, no losers after this type of thrilling slugfest, because the inventory of each fighters went up dramatically after such a titanic wrestle. In need of profitable, the result for Provodnikov was pretty much as good as anybody may have hoped, together with his thrilling, crowd-pleasing fashion placing him in line for Mike Alvarado and Lucas Matthysse. In the meantime, Bradley’s grit and coronary heart may by no means be questioned once more and his inspiring efficiency allowed him to lastly go away behind the fallout from the Pacquiao debacle and later accumulate enormous paydays in his subsequent rematches with the Filipino legend. Tellingly, a rematch with the iron-fisted Russian who got here so near derailing Bradley’s profession by no means got here near fruition. –Neil Crane