Bradley returns to battle Russian

Agence France-Presse
More than nine months after he stunned Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley returns to battle Ruslan Provodnikov.

AFP file photo

LOS ANGELES, United States — Unbeaten WBO champion Timothy Bradley will be looking to earn respect when he puts his welterweight title on the line against Ruslan Provodnikov Saturday, March 16 at the Home Depot Center stadium.

It has been an extended layoff for Bradley, who will be stepping into the ring for the first time since he stunned Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas.

Nine months after that controversial split decision victory, Bradley is hoping that a win over Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KOs) will convince his critics, who claimed the victory over Pacquiao was a fluke.


No credit for win over Pacquiao

“I didn’t get any credit after the Pacquiao fight whatsoever,” Bradley said. “People sent me death threats after the fight because (they said) I won undeservingly. (They said) I should have given the belt back.”

Russia’s Provodnikov, who trains at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood under Freddie Roach, will be fighting for his first major title. Roach is also Pacquiao’s trainer.

After a quiet second half to 2012, Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) says he wants to fight three to four times this year.

Provodnikov is moving up from the 140-pound class, where he was ranked number two by the WBO, for this fight. He has knocked out his last two opponents, both at junior welterweight.

Provodnikov won his first 17 fights before losing to Mauricio Herrera in 2011. –

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