As expected, it’s just a matter of time when hard-hitting Ruslan Provodnikov let his hands out of the cage to stop former champion but shopworn Jose Luis Castillo in Round 5 in Luzhniki, Moscow, Russia.
A three-punch combination to the head from Provodnikov made Castillo staggering towards the ropes in Round 5. And as Provodnikov followed him for the kill, the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Just in time, Castillo took a knee. Prior to the stoppage, Provodnikov scored a knockdown in the same round. Castillo still has the heart of the champion, but no longer has the pop in his arsenal, bravely stand up and was able to continue.
Prior to the knockout — in the fourth round — it is obvious that Provodnikov was already out from the cage and throws hard shots after hard shots, few seconds remaining in the round. Castillo stood his ground and traded. But it’s clear that it’s just a matter of time in the next round that the old lion will succumb to the younger lion. Castillo went to his corner with very shaky legs.
The boxing media widely criticized this match-up. We all know that Castillo is a great champion. But he is will past his prime at 40 years old. And he’s definitely in a very dangerous situation against a hard-hitting opponent in Provodnikov.
In the first knockdown itself, I’m praying that the referee stops the fight… that Castillo will not stand up.