By Clive Bernath: Regardless of what some people involved in the sport of boxing believe our great sport is not the high profile spectacle it once was. And lets be honest they have a point. Apart from a handful of big names such as Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao it is difficult to compete with the high ratings generated by Football, Basketball, Baseball and Ice Hockey.
That said there were many incredibly hard fought, entertaining and highly crowd pleasing fights in 2013. Looking back over the last 12 months there were at least half a dozen fantastic fan friendly fights that could easily have been voted No.1 Fight Of The Year, Alex Miskirtchian vs Andreas Evenson, Giovani Segura vs Tyson Marquez or Carl Froch vs George Groves to name but a few but in the end our army of well informed writers chose overwhelmingly to choose the WBO welterweight title battle between champion Timothy ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley and Russion tough guy Ruslan Provodnikov.
From the opening bell the unbeaten American champ proved his mettle by abandoning his slippery skills in favour of going head to head with the 29 year-old Provodnikov, who made the move up from 140lbs.
Such was the brutality of this battle that both men suffered facial damage, especially Bradley, who was down in the 12th and pretty much out on his feet. The action swayed back and forth throughout with the challenger crudely wading in and walking through the heavier man. It was indeed a truly ferocious encounter but in the end Bradley’s superior ring generalship and vast fistic skills proved the difference between the two, earning him a close but unanimous 115-112, 114-113, 114-113, verdict.
One could have forgiven both men for taking the rest of the year off to recover after such a battle but both men fought once more in 2013, Bradley decisioning Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez and Provodnikov producing yet another relentless assault on a world title this time down at 140lbs against WBO king Mike Alvarado. The Russian was yet again involved a barnstormer but this time he prevailed by forcing Alvarado to retire in the 10th round to end the year as champion.
Hopefully we will see a rematch between the two WBO champs in 2014?
December 28, 2013