By Tim Nielson: Former WBO 140lb champion Ruslan Provodnikov (24-4, 18 KOs) has a great chance to turn his career around in facing slugger John Molina (28-6, 23 KOs) on June 11 at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. The fight will be shown to the boxing public by Showtime. The Provodnikov-Molina fight will be the main event on the card.
Provodnikov had a chance to fight for a world title against WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford, but he opted instead to take the fight with the 33-year-old Molina instead. It was perhaps the better choice of the two, even though the money might not be as good as it would have been if he had faced Crawford.
Molina has the kind of punching power that will make this a very exciting fight while it lasts. Provodnikov is not hard to hit, as we saw recently in his war with Lucas Matthysse last year in April. If Molina is able to connect with his big punches, he could give Provodnikov some problems. However,
Provodnikov is a big puncher himself, and he’s got an excellent chin. Molina might be making a mistake if he tries to go toe-to-toe with Provodmikov. Molina doesn’t have great boxing skills though, so he might be forced to fight it out if he wants to survive and have a chance of winning the hout.
Molina’s career has taken a hit recently with him losing to Adrien Broner, Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse.
Those were all fights that took place in the last two years. Molina was also beaten by Andrey Klimov in 2013. Molina did win his last fight in defeating Jorge Romero by a 3rd round knockout last November. It was a good win for Molina, but it wasn’t against a major contender unfortunately.
Provodnikov has had problems of his own in defeats against Chris Algieri and Matthysse. Provodnikov did win his last fight in beating Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez by a 4th round knockout last November. It wasn’t a top tier opponent, however.
Provodnikov needs a win over Molina to keep his career alive so that he can bigger paydays against the top fighters. A defeat to Molina would be a crushing blow to Provodnikov’s career. I don’t know what Provodnikov can actually do other than be a gate keeper at 140 and 147. He might get lucky and win a world title if he’s matched against the right opponent.