Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov meet in Verona, New York in a fight that has left many boxing fans salivating at the mouth in anticipation of what promises to be an explosive encounter.
There may be classier boxers in the Super Lightweight division but in terms of two guys who will stand toe-to-toe and trade blows there's not many better than this pair. With fifty-one knockouts between them, the chances of hearing the final bell at the end of the twelfth round appear to stand between slim and none.
Matthysse (36-3-0) has won his last two fight since losing to Danny Garcia in September 2013. He stopped both John Molina Jr and Roberto Ortiz in 2014 taking his total knockouts up to thirty-four in thirty-nine fights. Should the Argentine win the fight it is likely that it will be by stoppage despite the fact his opponent hasn't been knocked out to date in his career.
Provodnikov (24-3-0) comes into this fight having lost two of his last four bouts although both were in World title fights to Timothy Bradley Jr and Chris Algieri respectively. Last time out, the Russian was victorious when he stopped experienced Mexican Jose Luis Castillo in five rounds taking his knockout record to seventeen stoppages in his twenty-seven fights.
Both men have held versions of the world title in the past and the winner of this fight could find themselves fighting for a title in their next bout. The WBO version is currently vacant (Terence Crawford and Thomas Dulorme will fight for it on Saturday) since Algieri moved up to Welterweight and IBF champion Lamont Peterson is expected to be stripped of his belt after his catchweight loss last weeekend to Danny Garcia. Garcia himself holds the WBA Super and WBC versions of the belt but it has been suggested that he is going to follow Algieri to Welterweight which could mean three of the four belts at are up for grabs although neither man is currently ranked by the IBF.
Regardless of whether the next fight is a world title shot or not, the winner of this one will elevate themselves to be regarded as one of the best in the division and if the fight is as good as it is expected to be then we may just witness something very special.