A seven-month layoff comes to an end on November 7th when Ruslan Provodnikov returns to the ring in Monte Carlo, facing unbeaten Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez after Juergen Braehmer's hand injury scrapped his WBA title fight with Thomas Oosthuizen.
If you've never heard of Rodriguez, there's good reason for that. The 23-year-old has a 13-0 record with 10 knockouts, which would be slightly more impressive if he had more than one win over a fighter with a winning record. His last three opponents have been 6-20-2, 5-23-1, and 2-2-1.
Needless to say, a little disappointing.
Provodnikov (24-3, 17 KO) last fought in April, slugging it out with Lucas Matthysse and surviving an inordinate number of power punches from "La Maquina" in a gutsy losing effort. Before that, he put away the bloated husk of Jose Luis Castillo in five. I can respect the desire to take a step back after the kind of beating Matthysse laid on him, but I think someone ranked 384th in the division by Boxrec may be a bit too bit a step back.
No word on how this will affect the much-desired Mosley matchup.
Thankfully, the rest of the card seems more well-matched. Youri Kalenga will look to bounce back from his loss to Denis Lebedev against Roberto Bolonti and Charlie Navarro faces David Avanesyan for the WBA Interim Welterweight Title, among other fights.
Anyone interested enough to watch Provodnikov kill a man?