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Bradley vs Provodnikov: Freddie Roach to train Provodnikov for March 16 bout

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Freddie Roach will train Ruslan Provodnikov for his March 16 return against Timothy Bradley, according to a report in the Philippines.

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

According to a report from GMA, Freddie Roach will train Ruslan Provodnikov for the Russian's upcoming March 16 bout against WBO welterweight champ Timothy Bradley. The fight will air on HBO in the States.

Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO) has campaigned at junior welterweight, and has been known as a regular on ESPN Friday Night Fights, where he's shown his ability as an action fighter, but also some of his limitations. He's considered a massive underdog against Bradley (29-0, 12 KO), who hasn't fought since last June's robbery win over Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

Provodnikov, 30, sparred with Pacquiao in preparation for that fight, and Roach was quoted then in the media saying that Provodnikov was actually better than Bradley. Whether that was just talk to hype a fight or something Roach actually believes, only Roach knows for sure, but Freddie has seen Provodnikov in the gym, and obviously knows Bradley pretty well.

Could this give Provodnikov any kind of psychological advantage going into the biggest fight of his career? Is it something Bradley should actually be worried about?