SAN DIEGO, October 19, 2013 – Fight fans live for the kind of classic pedal to the metal, full throttle brawl delivered by boxers like Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov. Their matchup Saturday night in Denver promises more of the same, and you can’t get too much of this good thing.
Alvarado (31-1, 23 KOs) and Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) are both on the short list of Fight of the Year nominees for 2013. Provodnikov was an unheralded challenger from Siberia when he faced Timothy Bradley on March 16 at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California with a mere 2,000 people in the stands. From start to finish it was action-packed with both men teetering on the brink of being knocked out the entire bout. Bradley said afterward he suffered a concussion, and that Provodnikov hit harder than Manny Pacquiao.
The following week, Alvarado put on another wildly entertaining fight in his rematch with Brandon Rios, winning a close unanimous decision to even the score on their series.
This bout holds the promise of being the type of fan friendly fight that does a lot of good for boxing’s health as a sport, if not always for the combatants involved. With some less than scintillating fights on the schedule lately (I’m talking to you, Dr. Steelhammer), it should be a refreshing experience to watch Alvarado and Provodnikov matching their physical and mental stamina.
The two fighters made the light welterweight limit at 139.8 pounds Friday. But it took Alvarado two attempts. He weighed 141 pounds on the first try, then came in at weight on his second trip to the scale. It is difficult to predict whether this will be a factor.
Alvarado possesses better boxing skills than Provodnikov. It wouldn’t be the choice of the fans, but Alvarado says he will box more and use his speed. He would be smart to avoid mutually assured destruction by picking and choosing his spots to get in close and trade shots with the Russian, just as he did in winning his second fight with Brandon Rios.
Provodnikov needs to take the Rios approach and try to tempt Alvarado into a more aggressive fight. While the bout is being fought in Denver, Alvarado’s hometown, “Mile High Mike’s” supporters will want to see him bring the action. This favors Provodnikov if Alvarado is feeling pressure from his fans to put on a show. Provodnikov’s trainer Freddie Roach will be not be with his Saturday; he is working with Manny Pacquiao on his upcoming fight with Brandon Rios. Alvarado will have trainer Shann Vilhauer in his corner.
Both fighters can take a punch. Whether the altitude at the venue has a say depends on how far into the 12-round fight the contest goes. A quick survey of boxing observers shows them heavily favoring Alvarado. But if Provodnikov can summon more motivation, he could turn the fight to his advantage through sheer will. It worked for Brandon Rios.
However each boxer approaches this fight, neither one can afford to play it safe. It’s one of the many reasons this fight will be well worth watching.
Prior to the main event, HBO will replay last Saturday’s fight between Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez, a split decision won by Bradley, this time fair and square without question from anyone except Marquez and his trainer Nacho Berestein, who said JMM was “robbed.” You be the judge.
Watch the replay, then catch Alvarado vs. Provodnikov from the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” Saturday, October 19, at 10 p.m. ET.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group
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