This Saturday a warrior enters the ring again in defence of his world title. The word warrior is much overused in sport but in the case of 30 year old Russian, Ruslan Provodnikov there is a no more fitting term.
Provodnikov will head into his first defence of the WBO light welterweight title against unbeaten American Chris Algieri with a record of 23 wins with 16 by way of knock-out, while his opponent Algieri holds is unblemished at 19-0 .
Despite the presence of two losses on his record Provodnkiov will be the massive favourite heading into the fight due to the higher level of opponent that he has mixed with in his career.
Provodnikov has fought the likes of Mauricio Herrera, who pushed unified light welterweight champion Danny Garcia to the limit last time out. He has also been in with Timothy Bradley in a fight which was simply stunning.
Bradley and Provodnikov squared off early last year in the fight of year. Both men stood and traded hard shots and just refused to let the other dominate proceedings.
Unbelievable levels of determination were on show and it proved both men to be truly fantastic fighters.
Provodnikov lost the fight on a unanimous decision but he had built up his reputation and following hugely with the brave and fan friendly style that he had shown.
Following the gruelling defeat to Bradley, Provodnikov moved down in weight and fought for the WBO world title which he now holds. He faced the tricky Mike Alvarado, who he floored twice on the way to a tenth round retirement.
Provodnikov is trained by the legendary Freddie Roach and there seems to be a potential conflict of interest in the future for Roach. There is a real lack of opponents willing to fight Provodnikov due to his fearsome reputation. This has meant that a fight against his stable-mate Manny Pacquaio could take place later on in the year.
Roach trains both men and as a result would be in a real dilemma. Roach may however have little choice with opponents for both men seemingly running dry.
Provodnkiov will have to win and do so in impressive fashion if he is to stand a chance of facing Pacquaio who is one of the biggest draws in the sport despite the slight fading in performances in recent years.
Algieri is a good boxer but he is widely expected to be overwhelmed by Provodnikov and his all-action style. Provodnikov is expected to knock-out Algieri in a one sided affair and that could present danger to Provodnikov.
He will have to ensure that he is switched on and focused for this fight though or otherwise he could come unstuck. Boxing is an unforgiving sport and if your mind isn't on the task in hand then you will more often than not be made to pay for it.
Provodnikov is still expected to win in style before calling out Manny Pacquaio and is a must-see fighter every time he steps into the ring, expect Saturday night to be no different.
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