Lucas Matthysse wins narrow decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in exciting slugfest

April 19, 2015

In an exciting brawl filled with blood, momentum swings, and thudding punches, Lucas Matthysse (37-3, 34 KO's) earned a close majority decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov (24-4, 17 KO's) in a 12-round junior welterweight bout before a sold out crowd at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.  The judges scored the fight 115-113 (Matthysse), 115-113 (Matthysse), and 114-114.

Many expected Saturday's matchup between the two power punchers to be a Fight of the Year candidate, and while that honor has yet to be determined, the fight certainly did not disappoint.

Matthysse got off to a quick start, establishing his jab and landing hard, straight shots on Provodnikov.  Provodnikov showed a granite chin and survived a badly cut left eye before staging a late rally in the fight.  At one point he appeared to buckle Matthysse in the eleventh round, but Matthysse managed to hold, stay on his feet, and earn the decision.

"He is the hardest puncher I have ever fought but I fight as hard as I can to the very end," said Provodnikov. "I never want the fight stopped. The only time would be when I am on my back."

Provodnikov's eye was cut in Round Two from an accidental headbutt, causing Matthysse to target the eye continuously.

However, the determined Provodnikov came back in Round Four with some solid combinations, landing powerful looping shots to Matthysse's head. Matthysse had a nice bounce back Round Five as he landed some hard jabs to the face of an oncoming Provodnikov.

Although both fighters continually went toe to toe during the rugged fight, they also showed tremdous respect and sportsmanship as well.  At the start of Round 12, rather than simply touch gloves, the two men embraced in the center of the ring.

"I think I dominated the fight, I knew I had the best hits," said Lucas Matthysse. "Ruslan is a tough fighter, he took everything I threw at him. I have a lot of respect for him. There was a point when I thought that they would stop the fight because of Ruslan's cut, but his team was able to control it. I hurt my hand in the sixth round, but I kept going because I wanted to prove that I am the best in the division and that I am ready for the toughest fighters. I want to move forward and fight the winner of Mayweather-Pacquiao."

A more realistic fight might be against fellow 140-pounder Terence Crawford, who put on his own tremendous display of ring generalship, patience, and boxing skills in his 6th round TKO win over Thomas Dulorme Saturday night.

By Staff of and news services

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