By Johnny Walker
WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley retained his title tonight after taking a beating from challenger Ruslan Provodnikov at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Provodnikov hurt Bradley badly several times, and appeared to floor him in round one only to have it ruled a slip. Bradley, who later said he was concussed early in the fight, appeared to be out on his feet in the first, second, and sixth rounds. Provodnikov finally put Bradley down officially near the end of the final round.
In the eyes of the judges, Bradley, who took advantage of several rounds where the Russian challenger appeared arm-weary from hitting Bradley with repeated bombs, did just enough to retain his title. Bradley did show a remarkable chin and a champion’s willpower, but he never hurt Provodnikov the way the Russian repeatedly hurt him.
The scores were 114-113 (twice) and 115-112 for Bradley, who moves to 30-0. Provodnikov drops to 22-2, though it’s hard to see him as the “loser” of this fight.
CompuBox Total punches landed/thrown in bout: Bradley 347/1000, Provodnikov 218/676
“Everybody saw what I did in the ring.” – Ruslan Provodnikov
“The warrior instinct is gonna come in. I know I got a concussion early in the fight. This guy is a warrior. [Provodnikov] would beat any 147-pound fighter out there.” – Tim Bradley
In the co-feature, Jesse Vargas triumphed over Wale Omotoso in another welterweight matchup. The fight started out as a slugfest that weighed in Omotoso’s favor, but Vargas eventually made it into a boxing match far more suited to his skills.
Vargas won by scores of 96-93 (twice) and 97-92.