Beasts From the East: Ruslan Provodnikov
Division: Junior welterweightRecord: 24 wins, 17 knockouts, 3 lossesBirthplace: Beryozovo, RussiaNext Fight: April 18 VS. Lucas Matthysse Raised in a
Division: Junior welterweight
Record: 24 wins, 17 knockouts, 3 losses
Birthplace: Beryozovo, Russia
Next Fight: April 18 VS. Lucas Matthysse
Raised in a poor, perma-frozen village in a remote corner of Siberia, Provodnikov learned how to survive at any cost: “As a kid I used to have to steal bread from a neighbor’s dog’s plate because I had nothing to eat. It was very tough. My childhood just made me stronger, made me who I am today.” Those early hardships fuel the furious, all-action style of the “Siberian Rocky,” whose relentless aggression has made him one of boxing’s most popular brawlers. Provodnikov’s wincingly brutal exchanges with Tim Bradley earned 2013 Fight of the Year accolades before he lost a razor-thin split decision to the taller, slicker Chris Algieri. In his comeback fight, Provodnikov, 31, a former sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao, stopped a faded Jose Luis Castillo in five rounds. Provodnikov likely won’t have a long career, because he takes so much punishment in order to give it. But hard-core fight fans, who love the Russian’s killer instinct, will happily tune in to every one of his over-the-top slugfests.