In part 2 of HBOs tremendous double header, we were promised a war between Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov, and a war is exactly what we got.  Both fighters entered this fight with extraordinary pressure on their shoulders.  Ruslan Provodnikov, having lost 2 of his last 4 fights to Tim Bradley and Chris Algieri respectively, needed a win to stay relevant in the boxing world.  Matthysee needed a win to possibly get another well deserved title shot, and possibly a rematch with Danny Garcia.  Well, both fighters took these needs into consideration, and boy did they go at it.

Matthysse started off very strong, tattooing Provodnikov with virtually every shot he threw.  Rounds 1 and 2 were a complete landslide, and it was looking like the night was going to be over very early.  Round 3 was a very close round, with Matthysse landing more, bur Provodnikov landing the bigger shots, so it was a toss up round.  Provodnikov looked great at times, when he was busy, but he has the worst habit of taking breaks in certain rounds, almost as if he just doesn’t have the stamina to continue throwing.  That is what loses him fights.  Matthysse continued to land big shots very often throughout the rest of the fight, and I must say, I was very surprised at how many rounds were given to Provodnikov.  He was inconsistent at best, and the judges were fooled big his huge shots here and there.

Yes Ruslan did land the bigger shots, the flashier shots, but it was too few and far between.  Matthysse outlander him in almost every round, which is why it was surprising to me that the scores were that close, and one judge even scoring it a draw.  I won’t say that the judging was shady, because this was a very hard fight to score, and I can see the two 115-113 scores in favor of Matthysse, but Provodnikov did not do enough in this fight to warrant a 114-114 draw from one of the judges.  I personally scored the fight 116-112 for Matthysse, which I thought was very fair.  This was definitely an all out war to end the night, and i can’t wait to see each guy fight again in the future.

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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