The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Brandon Rios, Tim Bradley And Ruslan Provodnikov

It’s a mixed bag on the boxing schedule this week, with one big and very intriguing fight on premium cable, a fan favourite in a get-well fight off TV and various prospect-oriented cards of varying quality on a variety of networks. In other news, it might be about time for Brandon Rios to change his Boxrec photo (above).

Timothy Bradley Jr. vs Brandon Rios, Saturday, HBO, Las Vegas. A hell of a welterweight scrap here, with pounder-for-pounder Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KO) taking on headcase pressure merchant Rios (33-2-1, 24 KO). Both men are likely past their peak, but by how much is anyone’s guess. Bradley was tagged hard in the final round of his last fight, with Jesse Vargas, and Rios hits a lot harder. On the other hand, Rios has been outboxed before (by Mike Alvarado, no less) and he hasn’t had a truly steady performance since (unless you count his destruction of Alvarado’s burnt husk). Bradley splitting with longtime trainer Joel Diaz and taking up with Teddy Atlas is yet another factor to consider. It’s tough, but in the end I think Bradley will find a way to win despite some rocky moments. That’s the Tim Bradley way. On the undercard, Ukrainian featherweight badass Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KO) fights the badly outgunned Romulo Koasicha (25-4, 15 KO).

Ruslan Provodnikov vs Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez, Saturday, Monte Carlo. Everyone’s favourite iron chinned, moose liver-eating welterweight, Provodnikov (24-3, 17 KO) returns in a get-well fight off TV against a guy nobody has ever heard of. It’s hard to hold it against him after the insane punches he took from Lucas Matthysse.

Alexander Povetkin vs Mariusz Wach, Wednesday, Kazan Russia. Enormous Polish heavyweight Wach (31-1, 17 KO) has done little of note since losing to Wlad Klitschko in 2012. In a perpetually shallow division that tees him up for a shot at a top contender like Povetkin (29-1, 21 KO). The saving grace may be that the Russian has heavy hands and will fight far less cautiously than Klitschko. Russian cruiserweight tough guy Denis Lebedev (27-2, 20 KO) fights Nigeria’s Lateef Kayode (21-0, 16 KO) on the undercard in a fight that promises action (though perhaps also awkwardness).

Antoine Douglas vs Les Sherrington, Friday, Showtime, Las Vegas. Douglas (18-0-1, 12 KO), a fast, aggressive US middleweight prospect, gets another development fight on Showtime against Australia’s Les Sherrington (35-7, 19 KO), who’s been around the block a few times.

Martin Honorio vs Miguel Angel Huerta, Friday, Estrella TV/, Los Angeles. A very club fight-y junior welterweight club fight from Golden Boy, with both Honorio (32-9-1, 16 KO) and Huerta (23-13-1, 8 KO) coming off losses.

Fredrick Lawson vs Kevin Bizier, Saturday, NBC Sports Net, Miami. Did you hear the one about the Ghanaian and the Quebecker in Miami? Neither did I, but that’s what this fight is. Wild swinging fringe-y welterweights Lawson (24-0, 20 KO) and Bizier (24-2, 16 KO) headline a PBC card for some reason or other.