Photos: Amanda Westcott/Showtime –
Former WBO jr welterweight champion Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs) and John “The Gladiator” Molina (28-6, 23 KOs), who will compete on this Saturday’s Showtime tripleheader, participated in the final press conference Thursday at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
Ruslan Provodnikov: “Words are not so much associated with explaining this because anybody can talk and anybody can say words. I think the fans or the people have to see how my fights have been and the way that I’ve fought those fights. For me to say right now that I’m going to ‘die in the ring,’ they’re words right now. The fight will show, then the fans will have an understanding in their mind of was I just saying that or is that really the way it is. The actions show, not the words.”
John Molina Jr: “I believe in my heart of hearts the fans are going to get a treat with Ruslan Provodnikov coming forward, not wanting to take a backward step with myself coming forward not wanting to take a backward step. We’re both going to try and go in there and pose our will on each other and you’re not going to see a boring fight. It won’t be Dancing With The Stars, it’s going to be a fight.”
In the co-feature, unbeaten former 154-pound world champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade (22-0, 15 KOs) goes against Willie Nelson (25-2-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-round WBC super welterweight title elimination bout.
Demetrius Andrade: “I’m just going in and do my thing, you know, I’m the type of person with character. I’ve been in the ring for many years through the amateur program and fought 300-400 times, against everybody in the whole world. So, there’s not nothing I haven’t seen or fought. A tall guy like Willie Nelson with no legs or upper body, I’m going to push him to the limit. That’s pretty much the plan. I’m going in and it’s knockout season for me.”
Willie Nelson: “It’s what happens all the time. I’m always the underdog. It’s OK and I try not to worry about it much. I’m not one to predict the fights; about what can and can’t happen, but it’s going to be an interesting fight. We know each other’s background and we have sparred before at the U.S. Training Camp.”
The telecast will begin with a 12-rounder for the vacant WBC lightweight world championship between undefeated #1 ranked Dejan Zlaticanin (17-0, 10 KOs) and Franklin Mamani (21-2-1, 12 KOs).
Dejan Zlaticanin: “I’ve prepared for this hard fight for a long time because they changed opponents and it’s hard to be prepared for that. But I have waited for this opportunity for a long time. This is the most important fight of my life, and I am going to win this fight. I don’t like to talk too much. I will talk in the ring and I promise I will knock out Franklin Mamani.”
Franklin Mamani: “Zlaticanin is an aggressive, strong and talented fighter. It will be an honor to trade leather with him inside the ring and be able to win the WBC lightweight championship of the world against the number one contender in my division.”