IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“It would be interesting to hear Friedrich Nietzsche’s take on Ruslan Provodnikov. Nietzsche, whose philosophy apotheosized the will, would surely provide interesting commentary on a fighter who exemplifies the creative and destructive potential of an iron volition. Provodnikov is not unique in his fixation on will—boxing is a sport predicated on willpower directed both without and within—but there is an almost mystic quality to the language he uses in reducing a violent ritual to a test between intangible forces. It is both frightening and captivating to hear Provodnikov, Beryozovo, Russia, speak of how his willpower allows him to overcome opponents and himself alike. And he means what he says: in the ring, when the talking stops, Provodnikov covets only attrition.”

Read: Anything But The Knots: Chris Algieri W12 Ruslan Provodnikov on The Cruelest Sport.


IBR on The Cruelest Sport


Forgive Ruslan Provodnikov for his clichés. Because he speaks through an interpreter, his words may lose a richer meaning in translation. Or he may deal in clichés because they are easy to pick up, especially in a sport where fists are the primary tools of discourse. Besides, in the right context, those commonplace phrases are perfectly accurate. “I knew what I had to do was break him,” Provodnikov told Max Kellerman in the afterglow of his victory over Mike Alvarado last night. A little trite, perhaps, but over ten grueling rounds at the 1stBank Center in Denver, Ruslan Provodnikov indeed broke Mike Alvarado, who did not answer the bell for the eleventh.

Read With Your Shield Or On Your Shield: Ruslan Provodnikov TKO10 Mike Alvarado on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


While the acrimony between boxing’s two biggest promotional companies, Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, is not without its casualties, it has resulted in some compelling fights. Consider Top Rank’s junior welterweight and welterweight stable, where Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provodnikov (promoted by Artie Pellulo, and therefore not the enemy) are in the second phase of what looks like an unofficial round robin. Tomorrow night, Alvarado and Provodnikov will try and add their names to the winner’s bracket when they meet in a junior welterweight fight from the 1stBank Center in Denver, Colorado.

Read Hair Trigger: Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov Preview on The Cruelest Sport.