This Friday (November 28, 2014) at the Luzhniki Sports Complex in Moscow, Russian welterweight ace Ruslan Provodnikov returns to the ring to meet Mexico’s Jose Luis Castillo in a 12 round bout that headlines a nine-bout card. Right now, Provodnikov is a massive favorite at (-7500) with Castillo returning (+2500). Provodnikov has to feel like he has his back to the wall. He is now (23-3) overall and is coming off a loss in his last outing. That loss came to Chris Algieri, and much has been written about the ‘king-making’ effect of that match, as Algieri has obviously moved on to big money and a fight against Manny Pacquiao. That fight with Pacquiao was Provodnikov’s. The match with Algieri was set up with the Russian as a huge favorite, and with Bob Arum and Top rank in attendance, Algieri stole the show and the big money fight. Just two fights prior to that, Provodnikov was (22-1) heading into a duel with Timothy Bradley. Though he lost a UD, it was close, and Provodnikov came out strong and was close to stopping Bradley over the first two rounds. He also scored a knock down on Bradley at the end of the fight to make it close with the judges (115-112,114-113,114-113), but he lost. In October of 2013, he returned from the Bradley loss to win the WBO World Light Welterweight title from tough veteran Mike Alvarado, as he got the RTD win in ten rounds. It was a good return win and Algieri was chosen as a gimme fight while the Pacquiao fight materialized. It was him who was supposed to have been in that fight with Pacquiao this past weekend. Jose Luis Castillo is a 40-year old veteran with a record of (66-12-1). He has a great rate of over 70 percent KO ratio, with 57 stoppages. he has also been stopped seven times in his 12 losses so he comes to fight and lives and dies by it. After dropping a match to Antwone Smith in February of 2013, he took more than a year off and has returned with two wins in a row. Both of those fights were against lesser competition and he is walking into the lion’s den now. Not up at the books yet is the over/under, which could be of interest. If Provodnikov fights with the urgency his career circumstances would appear to demand, he will go right after Castillo. Castillo will respond aggressively, and from there it could end early. The card also features two Cruiserweight bouts that may see lines pop up shortly as Rakhim Chakhkiev is scheduled to fight, and undefeated Dmitry Kudryashov faces off against Juan Carlos Gomez. Also at Lightweight, (19-0) Eduard Troyanovsky faces Jose Agustin Feria of Colombia for a WBA Inter-Continental title.