by Eric Duran
Ruslan Provodnikov (24-3, 17 KOs) and Lucas Matthysse (36-3, 34 KOs) spoke to reporters today to discuss their upcoming match up on April 18th. Oscar De la Hoya and Artie Pelullo were also on hand as well as Hall of Fame trainer, Freddie Roach. Both fighters exuded confidence and excitement while discussing the match-up that could provide fight fans with the Fight of the Year.
A ecstatic Ruslan Provodnikov spoke at length with reporters today during a live conference call.
“I just woke up, good morning. I’m eating breakfast before I head to training,” stated Provodnikov. “You’re going to hear Matthysse say he’s going to knock me out. That’s all he’s been talking about. I’ve never been on my knees, unlike Matthysse.”
Lucas Matthysse downplayed the knockout talks on the conference call, saying, “those weren’t my words, I’m ready for a tough fight. If the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to take advantage.”
Both fighters are excited and expecting a great fight heading into their match up. “It’s an important fight to me, not because of a title or money, but for history,” stated Provodnikov. Matthysse, who is known for his exciting fights, stated, “it take two fighters to make a fight of the year candidate. If Ruslan comes forward, I’ll take advantage of it.”
Both fighters spoke about being focused on April 18th, and both understand the importance of a win.
“That’s what is important here, the opportunity the winner gets,” stated Matthysee. Provodnikov also added, “I’m focused on April 18th. I’m not focused on title or catch-weight fights,” referring to proposed fights with Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.
In what everyone from fans to media are expecting to be a fight of the year candidate, so are the fighters, “he’s one of the biggest punchers but that doesn’t bother me. It’s a positive, either I catch him or he catches me,” stated Provodnikov. Provodnikov went on to state, “talk is cheap, I do my talking in the ring.”
Matthysse was complimentary of Provodnikov, saying “I’m excited to be fighting a fighter of Ruslan’s caliber…”I’m excited to fight Ruslan and to be fighting in the United States again. My training camp is going great. We’ve worked on things so they don’t happen in this fight.”
The Argentine was adamant that his chin would hold up under fire. “The objective is not to get hit, I’m working on it. I will not get dropped by Ruslan. so don’t worry about it,” stated a confident Matthysse.
Provodnikov was more vocal about training camp. “I never said I was the best [but] I know I can beat anybody when I train properly. I’m confident,” stated Provodnikov.
Provodnikov and trainer Freddie Roach also spoke about the super trainer not being in his corner on April 18th, presumably too busy working on the Fight of the Century with his charge Manny Pacquiao.
“Everything is fine, it’s not the first time. Freddie is in my camp, that’s what important. Marvin [Somodio] knows what he’s doing,” stated Provodnikov of Roach’s assistant.
Roach seconded that, saying “they understand what I want. Marvin has been with me for years. This fight is good for boxing,” stated Roach.
Matthysse was previously unaware that Roach would not be accompanying Provodnikov.
Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions, who promotes Provodnikov, stated, “it was a very easy fight to make. Eric Gomez and Oscar as well as the fighters, wanted this fight. It’s the best tv/fan friendly that could be made. I’m expecting it to be better than Corrales-Castillo.”
Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Matthysee, shared the same sentiment as Pelullo, “we’re thrilled that the best network, HBO, is televising this fight. I have a good hunch that come April 18th, we’ll have a fight of the year,” stated De la Hoya.
Both promoters spoke on The Turning Stone hosting this event, “Verona is a fight town, great fans. There was no risk, it’s almost sold out,” stated De la Hoya. Pelullo, whose Banner Promotions is a staple at The Turning Stone, stated, “they were aggressive about landing the event. They understood the historical aspect of this fight.”
Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse and “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov square off on April 18 at The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The 12-round junior welterweight fight will be televised live as part of a split site doubleheader on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.