Ruslan Provodnikov is back on tonight's Friday Night Fights. (Photo via Banner Promotions Official Facebook)
Tonight's Friday Night Fights on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com begins at 9 p.m. EST, and features a familiar pair of Banner Promotions names in a pair of fights that promise action. Bad Left Hook will have round-by-round coverage of the show.
In the junior welterweight main event, set for 10 rounds, Ruslan Provodnikov (20-1, 13 KO) will face David Torres (21-2-2, 13 KO). Provodnikov, 28, is a young Russian who looks and fights (somewhat) like Kostya Tszyu and has become a Friday Night Fights fan favorite over the last few years. He's coming into this fight having won a debated decision over DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley on December 5 in Russia, in a fight where he suffered a cut that was initially thought to be bad enough to keep him out of this fight.
Originally, Provodnikov was to face Mexican veteran Julio Diaz, but instead is up against 33-year-old Torres of Othello, Wash., just about two hours away from tonight's venue in Airway Heights at the Northern Quest Casino. Torres has been stopped in his two steps up in competition, against Julio Diaz and Raymundo Beltran, and is 1-2-2 in his last five, including a draw against another Washington fighter, veteran Santos Pakau, who hasn't won since 2005.
In the co-feature, Korean slugger Ji Hoon Kim (22-7, 18 KO) brings his big right hand and total lack of defense back to the airwaves for a fight with Ghanaian battler Yakubu Amidu (20-2-1, 18 KO). Kim may be more well-known, but Amidu's only losses have come to Ricky Burns and Ali Funeka. It's hard to tell what we'll see here -- Kim has the right hand to knock out anyone in the division, but like Randall Bailey, that's really all he has. Amidu is more an unknown quantity -- his KO rate suggests big power, but he has no really notable wins.
Kim vs Amidu is also set for 10 rounds in the lightweight division.