MANILA, Philippines – Russian boxer Ruslan Provodnikov insists there is nothing wrong with wanting to fight Filipino champ Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao even if the two boxers are friendly with one another.
Provodnikov has been lobbying for a fight against former pound-for-pound king Pacquiao after initially turning down the fight against his stablemate.
Both Pacquiao and Provodnikov are handled by Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
“There is nothing wrong with this fight,” Provodnikov said in a Boxing Scene report. “It’s business.”
“Boxing history has shown us many examples where best friends go out and fight with each other,” he pointed out, adding that he and Pacquiao are far from “best friends.”
“We were friends, we knew each other, and we were always talking when we met,” the Russian said.
Provodnikov also expressed his confidence that he can beat the “Pacman.”
“In that fight (against Brandon Rios), Manny showed that I have a good chance,” said Provodnikov.
Provodnikov became more popular last year, when he went toe-to-toe with Timothy Bradley Jr. before losing a close decision in March. He then stopped Mike Alvarado to win a light-welterweight belt in October.