DI­VI­SION: Ju­nior wel­ter­weight RECORD: 24 wins, 17 knock­outs, 3 losses

BIRTH­PLACE: Bery­ozovo, Rus­sia

raised in a poor, perma-frozen vil­lage in a re­mote cor­ner of Siberia, Provod­nikov learned how to sur­vive at any cost: “As a kid I used to have to steal bread from a neigh­bor’s dog’s plate be­cause I had noth­ing to eat. It was very tough. My child­hood just made me stronger, made me who I am to­day.” Those early hard­ships fuel the fu­ri­ous, all-ac­tion style of the “Siberian Rocky,” whose re­lent­less ag­gres­sion has made him one of boxing’s most popular brawlers. Provod­nikov’s winc­ingly bru­tal ex­changes with Tim Bradley earned 2013 Fight of the Year ac­co­lades be­fore he lost a ra­zor-thin split de­ci­sion to the taller, slicker Chris Al­gieri. In his come­back fight, Provod­nikov, 31, a for­mer spar­ring part­ner for Manny Pac­quiao, stopped a faded Jose Luis Castillo in five rounds. Provod­nikov likely won’t have a long ca­reer, be­cause he takes so much pun­ish­ment in or­der to give it. But hard­core fight fans, who love the Rus­sian’s killer in­stinct, will hap­pily tune in to ev­ery one of his over-the-top slugfests.

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