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Russia’s ex-WBO Champ Provodnikov to face MMA fighter Bagautinov this week

Ruslan Provodnikov, nicknamed ‘Siberian Rocky,’ last fought on June 11, 2016, when he was defeated by John Molina Jr. of the US

KHANTY-MANSIISK, July 21. /TASS/. Russia’s former WBO (World Boxing Organization) Light Welterweight Champion Ruslan Provodnikov has agreed to hold a boxing bout on July 23 against MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter and boxer Ali Bagautinov.

"This is very hard to believe, but it’s a fact. Ruslan vs. Ali bout is set for July 23," Provodnikov announced on his VKontakte social network account.

Instagram account Open FC announced earlier that the fight, which is supposed to follow boxing rules, between Provodnikov and Bagautinov was expected to be held in Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg, however, no date was announced.

In early January, Bagautinov held an MMA fight at the WOW Arena in Sochi against his compatriot Oleg Lichkovakha, winning the bout by unanimous decision. After the fight Bagautinov challenged Provodnikov.

Ali ‘The King Puncher’ Bagautinov holds an MMA record of 21 wins (five by KO/TKO; five by submission, and 11 by decision) and seven defeats. As a professional boxer, the 36-year-old fighter holds an unblemished record of two wins.

Provodnikov, nicknamed ‘Siberian Rocky,’ last fought on June 11, 2016, when he was defeated by John Molina Jr. of the United States.

The Russian boxer held the WBO Light Welterweight Champion’s belt from 2013 to 2014 and has a professional boxing career record of 25 wins (18 by KOs) and five defeats.

Provodnikov, 36, became a politician after giving up boxing in 2016 and currently serves as a lawmaker with the parliament of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area in western Siberia.