Provodnikov predicts fireworks

The two light-welterweights meet in New York on Saturday on their latest step back towards world level in the wake of title defeats.

Argentine Matthysse lost his WBC belt to Danny Garcia in September 2013, while Chris Algieri took the WBO version from Provodnikov 10 months ago.

But fireworks are widely expected this weekend, and Provodnikov is predicting a “fight of the year” contender – a bold claim with the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao ‘fight of the century’??just a fortnight away.

He said: “I am excited and motivated for this fight, I will not disappoint my fans and it will be a real war. Everything is going great with my training and will be ready for a real war in the ring.

“I will be ready for whatever Matthysse does. ??I 100 per cent believe that this fight will be the fight of the year.

“I always give everything I can in training camp and I’m very responsible. I don’t take anybody lightly, but walking into the ring with a fighter that I know will fight back will definitely show that what I can do as a boxer rather than going up against a fighter who will just run.”

The 31-year-old might be disappointed if he expects his opponent to stand and trade. Matthysse said: “Ruslan is a great fighter, he comes prepared for a war.

“My strategy against him will be to make sure to box and keep moving, that is why sparring has been really important in my training.

“Fans can expect one of the greatest fights in the division. I know I am ready to win this fight and fans should expect a victory.”