Amid all the Bradley-Rios hubbub, one of the year's most egregious mismatches went down last Saturday evening in Monte Carlo as Ruslan Provodnikov faced BoxRec's 384th-ranked super lightweight, Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez. It went exactly as expected, although it appears that, thankfully, nobody got too hurt.
Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KO), who fight served as a late replacement for a scrapped clash between Juergen Braehmer and Thomas Oosthuizen, basically just did his thing, plodding forward and banging away to the head and body with power shots. Though Rodriguez (13-1, 10 KO) landed some solid shots off the back foot, he never managed to slow the Russian's advance, although he did bring out Provodnikov's historical issue of not moving his feet when he's covering up.
The end came in the fourth. Provodnikov rocked Rodriguez with an overhand right, leaving him stumbling on the ropes. The referee got in between them, causing Provodnikov to walk to a neutral corner, only to just say "box" and let it continue in one of the weirdest bits of refereeing in recent memory. Provodnikov kept up the pressure and put his foe down with a right to the body, then polished him off with a flurry on the ropes that prompted the referee to step in, to the displeasure of a still-lucid Rodriguez.
While it wasn't the slaughter some feared, everyone involved should still be ashamed. Here's the whole thing if you're bored.
The rest of the card was a bit less moronically-matched. David Avanesyan (21-1-1, 11 KO) stopped Charlie Navarro (25-8, 20 KO) in nine for the interim WBA welterweight strap, Zhanat Zhakiyanov (26-1, 18 KO) edged out Yonfrez Parejo (17-2-1, 8 KO)for the interim bantamweight belt, and WBC Silver Super Bantamweight Champion Qui Jao Jun (19-2, 9 KO) picked up an eleventh-round finish of Amor Beladj Ali (14-4-1, 2 KO).
The most impressive finish of the night, however, belonged to Youri Kalenga (22-2, 15 KO), who handed Roberto Bolonti (36-5, 25 KO) his first career knockout loss via crushing left hook. Bolonti got absolutely K'd the F O, and I fully expect to see this finish in a year-end "greatest knockouts" collection.
The main event may have been a travesty, but at least we got this, right?