Updated 06:54 AM EDT, Tue, Apr 20, 2021

Ruslan Provodnikov: Juan Manuel Marquez Is Afraid of Me if He Doesn't Agree to Fight Me

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Ruslan Provodnikov revived his interest in defending his WBO junior welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez, and if the Mexican declines once again, the Russian said that it only means one thing—Marquez is afraid of him.

In an interview with BoxingScene, Provodnikov insisted that Marquez has no other choice now but to fight him after Timothy Bradley agreed to face Manny Pacquiao in a rematch on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"Marquez now knows that Bradley is not fighting him until maybe the end of the year, and Marquez is not getting any younger, so I know that the only possible pay-per-view fight for Marquez that will draw is against me, and if he doesn't agree to the fight now I am sure he is just afraid of me," Provodnikov said.

The 30-year-old Russian has been campaigning for a fight against the Mexican boxing icon, but Marquez turned down the proposal numerous times due to his strong desire to have a rematch with Bradley.

Bradley kept his WBO welterweight title belt when he scored a split-decision win over Marquez in their 12-round showdown in November, but the 40-year-old Mexican felt that he was robbed of a victory.

However, Marquez will have to wait before having another shot against Bradley now that the undefeated American is scheduled to face Pacquiao, who is also looking to avenge his defeat against Bradley.

Marquez previously said that should Bradley decide to face Pacquiao, he will be open to facing champions from other sanctioning bodies to fulfill his bid of winning a fifth title in different divisions.

Also Read: Marquez Wants Fifth Title Or Rematch With Bradley

The Mexico City native expressed zero interest in facing Provodnikov, saying that the Russian's title was already his before. Mike Alvarado was also mentioned as a possible opponent, but the 33-year-old American brawler has no title to boot.

"Neither Alvarado nor Provodnikov are in my plans. I'm going forward. They are great fighters, and I'm not putting them down, but I gain nothing by fighting with them. If I beat Provodnikov I win a title that was already mine and Alvarado is not a champion. I have nothing to prove. I want a fifth world title and that's my goal," Marquez said.

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