Ruslan Provodnikov finally has his move to Showtime worked out, as the former 140-pound titleholder will face fellow action star John Molina in a 12-round main event from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, on June 11.
Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KO) was slated to move to Showtime late last year, but they couldn't find a suitable opponent, and he instead faced the anything-but-suitable Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez on November 7 in Monaco, winning easily by TKO in the fourth round. He was last seen by most in an HBO fight last April, falling by decision to Lucas Matthysse.
The 32-year-old Provodnikov is 3-3 in his last six fights, losing to Tim Bradley in the 2013 Fight of the Year, to Chris Algieri in a big upset in 2014, and to Matthysse last year. Between the Bradley and Algieri fights, he wiped out Mike Alvarado to win the WBO 140-pound belt in October 2013. His last two wins have come over the untested Rodriguez and a shot Jose Luis Castillo.
Molina (28-6, 23 KO) snapped a three-fight losing streak with a November victory over club fighter Jorge Romero. In his previous three outings, he lost a war to Lucas Matthysse, and then fights against Humberto Soto and Adrien Broner where Molina really didn't look like himself. A brawler by nature, there was some feeling that Molina, 33, began trying to change too much of his approach to be effective. Whether we'll see that Molina or the "old" Molina against Provodnikov is up in the air, but Provodnikov's style makes everyone fight like hell or get smashed, basically, so the choice may not be Molina's.