Fighting Out of the Shadows
Sometimes the hardest opponent a man has to overcome doesn’t always come in the form of a physical presence, but instead could lurk simply in the shadow casted by another man. That is the demon Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse struggle with on their personal paths to becoming world champions.
Ruslan Provodnikov is a warrior, simply put. He walks to his own beat. He fears no man and fights with nothing less than all his heart. The sound of the bell is his war song. Raised in the harsh background of Siberian Russia, Ruslan fights with a sense of survival. Every punch he throws is created with the purpose to rise in rank and earn back his world title. However, for Provodnikov he doesn’t just want to be the world champion, he strives to be the champion in the hearts of his own people.
In a country that prides itself on death before dishonor, defeat can cast a cold shadow. As much as Ruslan is respected in his home country right now, there is an undefeated monster rampaging the world of boxing from his neck of the woods, Sergey Kovalev.
Kovalev is the reigning unified IBF, WBO Light Heavyweight champion with a ferocious undefeated record at 27-0-1 24 KOs. Kovalev has been on an absolute tear defeating the legend Bernard Hopkins and just recently defeating former champion Jean Pascal via TKO. Kovalev is ruthless and punishing, his country loves him and he loves them back.
With a victory over Lucas Matthysse, Provodnikov can begin that climb back to the top, as a champion of the world and his people. Siberian Rocky must pull out all the stops and once and for all shake the shadow that has shrouded his own greatness.
Lucas Matthysse knows this same battle very well. This has been his destiny before birth. He has been in the shadows of his older brother, Walter Matthysse, since birth. There is no doubt that the early childhood battles that he and his brother had, helped develop La Maquina’s fighting style. Walter Matthysse’s professional career ended in 2009, but there were larger shadows looming for Lucas.
As an amateur, he came up with Marcos Maidana. The two fought four times in the amateur ranks with Marcos winning three of these matches and the fourth completed in a draw. Marcos Maidana has what Lucas Matthysse strives. The riches that Maidana has made from his two fight campaign against Floyd Mayweather Jr., has set himself and his family for life. Although defeated in both matches, Chino Maidana is now a worldwide celebrity and has tasted the riches of this brutal sport which men risk their lives for every time they step in the ring. Lucas Matthysse wants those riches.
There is something more that Lucas Matthysse wants and that is to be the at the pinnacle of his countrymen’s adoration. In a country that is fanatical about soccer, that title is held by Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona. There is a boxer who comes close though, and that is Sergio Martinez. Sergio Martinez’s career is legendary and with his soon to come retirement, their will be a void. Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana will challenge each other to fill this void. Lucas Matthysse will do it the only way he knows how to: by fighting.
Both of these combatants are fighting for the love of their countrymen. They both know the feeling of having that love and adoration heaped upon a close friend. They understand that this match, these styles, while give them the opportunity to clutch that adoration and the only way is through the will of the other man in the ring.