Roach: Ruslan Becoming a Better Fighter03/06/2013
The following is a transcript of an international media call on March 4 with top-rated contender Ruslan Provodnikov, his trainer Freddie Roach, and his promoter Matt Rowland. Provodnikov challenges welterweight champ Timothy Bradley Jr. March 16 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Remaining tickets to the Bradley-Provodnikov world welterweight championship event, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, can be purchased online at AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849 as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Suites are available by calling 1-877-604-8777. For information of group discounts, please call 1-877-234-8425.
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Listen to the entire call here.
MATT ROWLAND, BANNER PROMOTIONS: We are very happy for the opportunity that Tim Bradley and Top Rank has given us and we know that Ruslan will make the most of it.
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: First of all I want to say Happy Birthday to my trainer Freddie Roach. I haven’t seen him yet today but I’ll see him in about an hour. Freddie I will give you your present on March 16. Training is going very well. I am happy with everything.
FREDDIE ROACH: Ruslan is becoming a better fighter all the time. When he sparred with Pacquiao he learned Pacquiao’s style. He knows how to fight and he knows the art of boxing. He is looking pretty good and we’re doing what we need to get ready for this fight. We are fighting a very good boxer who can move if he needs to move. Ruslan’s working the jab and cutting the ring off. Everything is in place right now. The game plan is there. We have a couple more days of sparring to go and we’ll be there.
Joel Diaz stated that you have lost your love of the sport of boxing. That you are now just a brand name.
FREDDIE ROACH: I could tell him where to go but he doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know what I do every day. He doesn’t see me in the gym working with these fighters. I know he’s just saying it to get under my skin. I have a game plan and the right fighters to carry that game plan through and on the 16th we’ll see who’s the better coach or who’s the better man.
In retrospect do you think it would have been better to fight Bradley than Marquez?
FREDDIE ROACH: No. Part of life in boxing is losing and we have no regrets whatsoever. We felt like we didn’t need to redeem anything with the Bradley fight because we thought we won so easily. Most of the public in the world knew Pacquiao won. Just three people [Bradley and two judges] and Bradley's trainer thought Bradley won – so you have four guys against the world. We are not worried about that.
Do you see a time in the future where the rematch with Bradley would happen?
FREDDIE ROACH: I don’t see a need for a rematch but if the business makes sense it will happen.
How do you feel about the weight switch?
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: I think everything is going to be fine. The training camp is great and I feel great at 147. I do weigh a little more and it is easier now than it normally is at this time two weeks out.
Do you plan to stay at 147 or go back down?
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: I don’t know what my plans are going to be after this fight. Realistically I have always been waiting for a fight against Tim Bradley and I would have taken the fight with him at 140 or 147. I think I can beat him at any weight class.
FREDDIE ROACH: Ruslan is a very good 147-pounder who happens to be able to make 140. 147 is easier to make but it is still no walk in the park. We have to watch his diet. He weighs about 153 right now so he is in striking distance. He feels pretty strong at the weight and I think he will be a better puncher at the weight. I like him at 147 more than I like him at 140.
How many fights have you been his trainer?
FREDDIE ROACH: I have trained him the last three fights, I just haven’t been able to get to the fight with him because of conflicts with Pacquiao and other fighters. I had my friend and assistant Eric Brown help me out a bit and he did a great job. Right now everything is falling into place and I’ll be in the corner this time also. (fourth fight in camp, first fight in corner).
How do you feel about the possibility of Ruslan getting the win against Bradley where Manny didn’t?
FREDDIE ROACH: I never really think about that. I keep them separated. What happened, happened and there is nothing we an do about it. This is a big fight for Ruslan – the biggest fight of his life. It is a great opportunity and I’m happy he has the opportunity. I always thought he was stronger and the bigger puncher of the two. I love his chances to win by knockout.
MATT ROWLAND: Ruslan is taking this fight because it is the biggest fight we could make. He is fighting Tim Bradley who has only fought welterweight twice. So we are not dealing with a big welterweight and he wasn’t a big puncher at 140 so he shouldn’t be a big puncher at 147, so weight will definitely not be an issue.
Bradley is using a sparring partner that beat Provodnikov…
FREDDIE ROACH: I think he is a different fighter than the one that lost. I think it is a smart thing for them to do. We got the best sparring partners we could to emulate Bradley. We spent a lot of money going out and getting the right guys and they did the same thing. The thing is when they get in the ring at match up on fight night it won’t be anything like the sparring. That’s how you get ready for big fights.
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: I heard that Bradley is using Herrera for sparring but they don’t know what kind of preparations I had for that fight or what kind of trainer I had. My training camp now is completely different and I don’t think I lost that fight anyway. I have been improving and with my new trainer and strength-and-conditioning coach [Gavin MacMillan] working with me and I going to be even more different than I was in the last couple of fights.
Why do you think you were not at your best for that fight?
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: Unfortunately at that time and did not have the conditioning that I have now. I didn’t have everything that I have now. First of all I came into the country a lot later. I didn’t have the money to get a full training camp that I do now – I didn’t have the right trainer and I didn’t have the right sparring. Now everything is different. It has been different every fight after that fight.
What went through your mind when you found out about this opportunity?
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: I knew that my title shot was coming. There was talk of Brandon Rios who I know didn’t want to fight me. When this opportunity came around I said ‘yes’ right away. I think this is even a better opportunity. This win would mean a lot more than anybody at my weight.
Are you bothered by Joel Diaz's statements about you?
FREDDIE ROACH: I met the person [Joel Diaz] maybe twice in my life. I see him around the boxing game. I know that he had a good record. He seems like he did a great job with his fighter. My fighter and I get along well. It’s not about the trainers. My fighter is the one who’s going to win the fight, not me. Whatever he says, I don’t care. I don’t have time to be mad at someone. I don’t read anything he says; I just don’t have time for that. I'm sure he is a nice person outside of the ring. This fight is very important for Ruslan and me and the entire camp and we want to win the fight.
FREDDIE ROACH: We know the style of our opponent and we have some tricks up our sleeves. He’s going to see some things he hasn’t seen before. He is right on cue with everything he needs to be ready for this fight. He’s getting better and better and we still have two more days of sparring to go. We just have to maintain and stay sharp right now, all the hard work has been done. We’re ready to go.
How will the movement of Tim Bradley affect Ruslan?
FREDDIE ROACH: It is obviously a big challenge but have a very good game plan. We will make that ring small – one that we can set up traps. We are fighting a world champion – this is for all the money. It’s the biggest fight of his life and we are going to do everything we can to win the fight.
MATT ROWLAND: We think it’s the right fight at the right time.
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: Everyone should come out and support us in this fight because you will never forget it.
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