March 12, 2016
March 12, 2016
Ruslan Provodnikov

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FORMER WBO world champion Ruslan Provodnikov “The Siberian Rocky,” returns to the ring on Saturday, June 11 to headline on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING as he takes on former world title challenger John Molina Jr. in a 12-round super-lightweight from bout from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The clash will be televised live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) and it will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming.

The fight is promoted by Banner Promotions and tickets for the event will go on sale at a later date.

Dubbed the “Siberian Rocky” for his aggressive attack and unyielding will to win, Beryozovo, Russia’s native Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs) has earned himself a loyal fan base around the globe for his humble nature outside the ring and ferocious intensity inside the ropes.

A nine-year pro, Provodnikov followed up a stellar amateur career with an even more impressive campaign in the professional game. He has had notable wins over several top foes, including a 2015 ‘Fight of the Year’ nominee with Lucas Matthysse, a 2013 Fight of the Year with Timothy Bradley and a 2013 10th– round stoppage over Mike Alvarado that yielded him the WBO Super Lightweight World title.

Covina, California’s John Molina (28-6, 23 KOs) is also highly regarded among boxing fans for his exciting fights. Since turning pro in 2006, the aggressive-minded Molina has delivered action-packed fights such as his 2014 BWAA ‘Fight of the Year’ against Argentine slugger Matthysse and a surprising upset knockout against previously unbeaten Mickey Bey, Jr. in July 2013.

“I have been waiting for a long time to get back in the ring and to give my fans another fight. The opportunity has finally come and I appreciate that SHOWTIME is looking at me as a future star on their network, and I will not let them down,” said Provodnikov.

“I’m very thankful to SHOWTIME and TGB Promotions for this opportunity and promise the fans a great fight. I’m very familiar with Ruslan and have long believed that our styles would make for an outstanding war on June 11,” Molina said. “Fighting on the Hall of Fame weekend means a great deal to me having been a long-time fan of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, who is being inducted this year. It would be an honor to fight in front of him and the rest of the inductees.”

“We are very excited to have Ruslan making his SHOWTIME debut on June 11 at Turning Stone Resort Casino during the International Boxing Hall of Fame weekend. This will be another great event, as Ruslan is always in fan-friendly and TV-friendly fights,” said Banner Promotions President Arthur Pelullo.

“Ruslan participated in the Fight of the Year in 2013, Molina was part of the 2014 Fight of the Year, and Provodnikov-Matthysse was a 2015 Fight of the Year nominee. Put all that together, and we expect another Fight of the Year candidate on June 11. As the viewership numbers show across the board, Ruslan is one of the top stars in boxing. He doesn’t know how to make a bad fight.

“On behalf of everybody, I especially want to thank Stephen Espinoza of SHOWTIME for all of his help and work to bring Ruslan to SHOWTIME. This has been a work in progress, and his tireless efforts and patience in getting this deal done have been greatly appreciated. He has shown a real commitment to Ruslan and Banner Promotions, and this is just the beginning of our relationship in making the best and biggest fights possible for Ruslan.”

“We’re very excited for the SHOWTIME debut of Provodnikov on Boxing Hall of Fame weekend. It’s a crossroads fight. Expect fireworks,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports.

Vadim Kornilov, Provodnikov’s manager, said “This is a great opportunity for us. Ruslan is always in Fight of the Year candidates. I think that with all the fans that have been long waiting to see Ruslan return to the ring in the U.S., SHOWTIME has made a great business decision to give Ruslan an opportunity to come back and his fans an opportunity to see him in more of those brawls that they don’t get to see very often!”