Saturday, March 16th, Timothy Bradley (30-0) defeated Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2) with a unanimous decision victory in order to defend his WBO welterweight title. The bout took place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California and was televised on HBO.
Entertainment wise, the bout was a huge success and displayed to the boxing world that there is still alot to love about the sport of boxing. However, there is still alot to question in regards to the outcome of this fight as Provodnikov surely landed some viscous punches on Bradley in the 1st and 2nd rounds that should have been scored as knockdowns. If scored correctly, Provodnikov could have surely come out with the victory and with an upset that would have took him to the next level within the sport of boxing.
Even more, Provodnikov scored a knockdown in the 12th round that had Bradley taking a knee, but Bradly was able to avoid being knocked out with the help of the bell. Therefore, if the fight had been scored correctly, Provodnikov would been granted a 10-8 round in the 1st round, which could have led to a close decision victory.
Interestingly, it did not seem like the HBO announcers, specifically Roy Jones, wanted to give Provodnikov credit for his performance throughout the fight. Yes, Bradley should be given credit as a brave warrior for standing up when it was obvious he was badly hurt, but it was clear that at times Bradly was "knocked out" standing up.
From a professional standpoint, the final dagger came when HBO announcer, Roy Jones, did not have the courtesy to learn Provodnikov's name and stated "whatever his name is" in regards to his analysis of Provodnikov's performance. Those types of mishaps should be unacceptable from a premier network like HBO and displays which fighter,Bradley, they had a primary interest in to gain the victory.
Nevertheless, Bradley keeps his title and will likely get the opportunity to take on the winner of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. With that, Bradley will get another major payday and an opportunity to silence all the critics that felt he should not have been granted a victory over Pacquiao.
In the end, the boxing world got the opportunity to view two brave fighters that surely put on a memorable performance. Sadly, Provodnikov was not provided with the proper scoring that should have given him two 10-8 rounds (1st and 2nd rounds) in addition to his knockdown of Bradley in the 12th to put him up on the scorecards. It should be interesting to see what Provodnikov's next move is as he should surely gain a significant fan base from last night's action.