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Provodnikov Returns to Action Tonight; Santiago Fills in for Kim


By German Villasenor

Russian super lightweight Ruslan Provodnikov will step into the ring on Friday night in the ESPN2 main event at the Pechanga Resort and Casino, looking to get back on track having been briefly derailed as he tasted his first defeat at the hands of Mauricio Herrera back on January 7.

The 27-year-old Provodnikov, 18-1 (12), will be looking to prove he is not a one-dimensional, pressuring, face-first plodder as was the case when he faced Herrera, getting outhustled en route to the 12-round decision loss.

Standing across the ring will be the undefeated Ivan Popoca 15-0-1 (10) , another pressure fighter whose style should clash nicely with Provodnikov.

Popoca, who hails from the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois, via Guerrero, Mexico, does not have a who’s who on his record and his stiffest tests have been Hector Alatorre back in June of 2009 and Jose Luis Soto -Karass in an all-out war in May of last year.

Provodnikov followed up his lone loss with a TKO in three over journeyman Vyacheslav Yakovenko two months ago. Among his victims are former IBF lightweight champion Javier Jauregui via stoppage in eight and Emmanuel Augustus in nine, both in 2010.

Provodnikov vs. Popoca is scheduled for ten rounds in the super lightweight division.

The televised, co-feature bout will see the return of once-promising Tijuanense fighter Marvin Quintero, 21-3 (17), who’s looking to get back on track himself following two losses in the last couple of years, against Tyrone Harris and Daniel Attah- both via stoppage.

Originally slated to face Korean banger Ji Hoon Kim, who dropped out due to a detached retina, Quintero was then offered Armenian Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan. When that fight also got scrapped, Denver, Colorado’s Juan Santiago, 13-6-1 (8), stepped in as Kim’s ultimate replacement.

Still considered a prospect, Quintero is also coming off a win over Lowell Brownfield in three rounds in February.

Quintero vs. Santiago is set for ten rounds in the lightweight division.

The fight card is presented by Art Pelullo/Banner Promotions, GT & KP Boxing Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions along with Patrick Ortiz/Ringside Ticket and Dominic Pesoli/8 Count Productions.

Pechanga Resort and Casino is located at 45000 Pechanga Parkway in Temecula, California.

Tickets priced at $35, $60 and $85 are available at the Pechanga Resort and Casino box office.

For further information call 877-711-2946 or visit the Pechanga website at

Doors open at 5:00 PM with first bell at 6:00 PM

Contact German at

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