During an earlier interview with RingTV.com, Banner Promotions’ President Artie Pelullo, who guides newly crowned WBO junior welterweight titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov, said that he would like “The Siberian Rocky’s” next fight to be a rematch with WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley or else a matchup with the winner of Saturday’s 147-pound bout between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said that he agreed, in part, with Pelullo during an interview this week with RingTV.com’s Ryan Songalia in Macau, site of Pacquiao-Rios.
“If you asked people who they would want Manny to fight next, I mean, everybody would say [Floyd] Mayweather,” said Arum, referring to a scenario in the event of a Pacquiao victory over Rios.
“And then, next to Mayweather, if you would put the No. 2 choice, they would probably say Provodnikov. I mean, he’s the next logical guy.”
Provodnikov (23-2, 16 knockouts) earned his belt by scoring two eighth-round knockdowns on the way to last month’s 10th-round stoppage of Mike Alvarado. Alvarado had last been in the ring in March, out-boxing Bradley’s managerial stablemate, Rios, to win the rematch to a seventh-round TKO loss from October of last year.
In victory over Alvarado, Provodnikov rebounded from a unanimous decision loss in his 147-pound debut in March against Bradley, who rose from a 12th-round knockdown during the first defense of the belt the won by disputed split decision over Pacquiao in June of 2012.
On Oct. 12, Bradley made his second defense by split-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez, who was coming off a sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao last December. Pelullo also said Marquez could be an option for Provodnikov.
“If Ruslan went up in weight, he wouldn’t lose his title,” said Pelullo. “He would just have to pay a sanctioning fee that would let him take a fight above the weight, and that’s how you do that. That’s what it’s all about.”
Although Pacquiao and Provodnikov are each trained by Freddie Roach, Roach was not in Provodnikov’s corner against Alvarado because he was in General Santos City Philippines preparing Pacquiao for Rios.
Instead, Roach’s assistant, Marvin Somodio, served as the lead man for Provodnikov, who has also served as a former sparring partner for Pacquiao.
“Who else would you want Manny to fight? Marquez again? Marquez isn’t willing to fight,” said Arum of Marquez, who is 1-2-1 against Pacquiao. “Bradley? Marquez is not going to do it any better [in a fifth fight with Pacquiao] than he already has, because he was about to get knocked out when he threw that punch.”
But if Pacquiao defeats Rios, Roach would like a rematch with Marquez.
“Manny still wants Marquez. He wanted Marquez for this fight, actually. That would be a dream match,” said Roach.
“We want Marquez one more time. That’s the fight that we want. I mean, we would like Floyd Mayweather, too, of course, but Marquez, we want to get that back.”
Photo / Chris Farina-Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org