MANILA, Philippines – Filipino champ Manny Pacquiao may be better off if he takes on Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov instead of American Timothy Bradley Jr. in his April 12 fight, a boxing analyst said.
Ronnie Nathanielsz said Provodnikov may be the “easier” opponent for Pacquiao, even if the Russian boasts of considerably greater punching power than Bradley.
“Provodnikov has power, and that’s the danger,” Nathanielsz said. “But as (trainer) Freddie Roach said, Manny can outbox Provodnikov any time as he showed in his sparring.”
“One really powerful punch from Ruslan could create problems, but to me, the easier fight would be Provodnikov,” he added.
Pacquiao will return to the ring in April after reviving his career with a 12-round demolition of Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios last November in Macau. He has announced that he prefers to fight Bradley, who infamously defeated him via a highly controversial split decision in June 2012.
“With Bradley, he (Pacquiao) wants to seek revenge for that bad decision,” Nathanielsz said. “But it’s a dangerous fight because he’s a boxer, and he can stay out of trouble, though he doesn’t have a powerful punch.”
Pacquiao, for his part, has said he has yet to talk to his promoter about his next fight.