As first reported by Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Timothy Bradley, the WBO Welterweight titlist, will defend his title against Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16, 2013 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Bradley was, as every other fighter alive, was hoping for a shot a Manny Pacquiao. In Bradley’s case, he thought he had a good shot at the “golden ticket” because he “won” a split decision against the Filipino superstar. However, Pacquiao turned his attention to Juan Manuel Marquez. Thus, Bradley was left turning to other options. Indeed, he was offered a $2.5 million payday against Lamont Peterson, a fighter he already defeated, but he turned it down. Now, he has accepted a lesser payday against Provodnikov. The Russian provides a stern test for the undefeated Bradley as he is a pressure fighter whose only loss is a disputed decision to Mauricio Herrerea (who this writer believes Provodnikov beat). However, Provodnikov is coming up in weight and this may provide an advantage for Bradley. Regardless, the HBO televised contest will likely provide a competitive contest. The winner will clearly establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division.