With both fighters looking for some kind of significant fight, a rematch between Mauricio Herrera and Ruslan Provodnikov might make all the sense in the world, and Golden Boy Promotions and Banner Promotions are reportedly negotiating just that as of a few days ago.
Herrera (22-5, 7 KO) handed Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KO) his first loss back in 2011, when the pair headlined on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Provodnikov bounced back to win five straight before his 2013 Fight of the Year loss at welterweight to Tim Bradley, after which Provodnikov went back down to 140 and won the WBO title from Mike Alvarado.
Provodnikov, 31, is 2-2 since then, beating a shot Jose Luis Castillo and an untested Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez, both coming as rebound wins after defeats against Chris Algieri in 2014 and Lucas Matthysse in 2015. Banner Promotions' Art Pellulo reportedly asked Golden Boy first about a rematch with Matthysse, who is coming off of a knockout loss to Viktor Postol, but was turned down, then asked about Herrera.
Herrera is 6-4 since beating Provodnikov, but the record only tells part of the story. The 35-year-old's last two losses were highly debated, to Danny Garcia and Jose Benavidez Jr, both in 2014. In his last outing, he beat Hank Lundy on technical decision in five rounds, a bout cut short due to accidental headbutts leading to cuts on Herrera.
There was a lot of talk of Provodnikov moving over to Showtime late this year, but nothing adequate came together, and if Herrera-Provodnikov II becomes a reality, HBO would figure to be the home for the fight, as they have worked with Golden Boy Promotions since the promotional firm ousted Richard Schaefer and cut ties with Al Haymon. Pellulo says he's waiting on Peter Nelson, the new head of HBO Sports, to make a decision.
If this fight comes together, who do you like in the rematch? Both are older and a bit wiser since their first encounter. Will Provodnikov's power come through more this time, or does Herrera's tricky style give him fits again? It was very competitive the first time around, and Herrera got the scores. REPEAT OR REVENGE?!?!?! WHO (WHAT?) R U PICKING?