Ruslan Provodnikov punishes Mike Alvarado, extending Freddie Roach’s winning streak with his TKO10 win!
Written by Jenna J. - otrboxingradio.com
This Saturday night at the 1STBANK Center in Denver, Colorado, boxing fans witnessed a great show of guts, determination and incredible stamina in the HBO championship boxing main event, Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov. Going into the bout, both fighters had a lot of questions surrounding them as they were coming off intense ring battles that saw each man pushed to the limit and coming up with differing results.
Ruslan Provodnikov was 7 months removed from a back and fourth encounter against Timothy Bradley in which Ruslan was only seconds short of a final round knockout upset. Mike Alvarado himself was coming off a bout in which he over came the odds and avenged the only loss of his pro career, taking the WBO light welterweight championship in the process.
The fight started hard and heavy, as Ruslan Provodnikov was landing hard shots from the opening bell, and hurt Alvarado on several occasions in round one. It looked like Mike was in trouble but he managed to change the pace of the fight and had some success of his own in the next rounds. Similar to Alvarado’s last fight with Brandon Rios, he did not stand in front of Provodnikov but instead used lateral movement and kept the fight at a range in which he could avoid the power punches of Ruslan and get some of his own shots off.
Alvarado used his jab to keep Provodnikov away and although both fighters were landing shots to the head and to the body, Alvarado was the fighter in command. Alvarado’s downfall started in the 8th round as he took a series of flush shots which put him on the canvas not once, but twice. Alvarado barely escaped the round and looked very hurt walking over to his corner.
The big question coming into the next round was, how much energy would Provodnikov have left after throwing a barrage of power shots in the previous round? It was apparent that unlike his previous fight with Tim Bradley, this time he was in outstanding condition. Ruslan came in and outworked Mike Alvarado in round 9 and in round 10 he battered him some more and forced Mike’s corner to stop the fight after the end of the 10th round. Ruslan Provodnikov was crowned the new WBO light welterweight champion.
Now the question is where both men go from here. Provodnikov improved to 23-2 (16 ko’s) with this win and showed impressive stamina, improved technique and with his fan friendly style, he lived up to his nickname of “The Siberian Rocky.“ The improvement under Freddie Roach is quiet evident, and with this victory he’s set a winning streak with the Wildcard gym. Moving forward, the logical fight would be a rematch with Timothy Bradley, as the first bout is a leading candidate for fight of the year and a second bout would be a match up that most boxing fans would be eagerly awaiting.
As for Mike Alvarado he falls to 34-2, and the path he goes will be interesting because he is now coming off 2 straight grueling bouts, and one would think he might want to take a softer touch in his return, as there are only so many ring wars a fighter can take.
The bout between Provodnikov and Alvarado was not the all out war boxing fans expected, but it still did provide fireworks and had what boxing needs most, and that was a definitive result, and one that certainly excited the fans.
Ruslan Provodnikov takes belt
BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Ruslan Provodnikov bruised Mike Alvarado all night with blow after powerful blow. Then, he broke Alvarado's spirit.
The Russian brawler nicknamed the "Siberian Rocky" captured the junior welterweight title on Saturday when Alvarado couldn't answer the bell for the 11th round.
Provodnikov (23-2) knocked down Alvarado (34-2) twice in the eighth round with a series of punches near the ropes and finished him off late in the 10th. The fight was halted by referee Tony Weeks, who asked Alvarado a few times if he wanted to continue and Alvarado responded that he didn't.
To Provodnikov, he couldn't have envisioned a better ending, comparing Alvarado throwing in the towel to Roberto Duran famously saying "No mas," in a fight against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980.
"I made him not want to fight me anymore," Provodnikov said through a translator. "This is the best way I could become the champion."
Promoter Bob Arum, who represents Alvarado, said his boxer might have suffered a concussion.
Provodnikov didn't have trainer Freddie Roach in his corner. Roach remained in the Philippines to work out with Manny Pacquiao, who fights Brandon Rios next month in Macau. It hardly mattered as Marvin Somodio filled in and kept Provodnikov on course.
"My team told me, 'You're ready -- come out and become a champion,'" Provodnikov said. "I was doing my job."
Not even chants from the home crowd could lift Alvarado, who grew up in Denver and was wearing blue-and-orange trunks in honor of the Denver Broncos. Alvarado got lured into Provodnikov's kind of fight -- more brawling than boxing -- and never recovered. This was quite a contrast to Alvarado's win over Rios seven months ago, when he had a near flawless fight.
Alvarado's eye puffed up midway through the fight, the result of a barrage of punches throughout the fight.
"It just wasn't Mike's night. He was too defensive," said Shann Vilhauer, the trainer for Alvarado. "I think he just started reading all these clips after the (Brandon) Rios fight, that he was a great boxer and he got away from what he's best at. This guy (Provodnikov) was tailor made for him. He didn't take advantage."
After the fight, Alvarado said that Provodnikov threw the hardest punches he has ever encountered. He also said manager Henry Delgado stopped the fight and that he agreed with the decision.
"It was not worth taking more punishment because the damage could be permanent," Alvarado said. "It just wasn't my night. I have a lot of heart. I'm not a quitter."
This was the biggest bout in the area since former World Boxing Council lightweight champion Stevie Johnston fell to Jose Luis Castillo in 2000. It also was the first time HBO has televised a live fight from Colorado. Provodnikov didn't pay any attention to the pre-fight "boos," or the crowd constantly chanting, "3-0-3," the city's area code.
"If you want to be a world champion, you have to risk it -- go and fight the best, go to his hometown," Provodnikov said.
With the win, Provodnikov could likely be in line for the winner of Pacquiao and Rios. The other likely candidate is Timothy Bradley Jr., a fighter Provodnikov lost to in a memorable bout last March.
A rematch with Alvarado isn't out of the question, either.
"Unbelievable," said Arthur Pelullo, the president of Banner Promotions, which represents Provodnikov. "He had a great game plan. Even though Freddie wasn't here, he stuck to the game plan. Alvarado is a tough son of a gun. He was the kind of kid you've got to give respect to. He's a champion."
On the undercard, Juan Diaz (38-4) landed jab after jab on Juan Santiago (14-11-1), but couldn't put him away in a lightweight fight. Diaz's dominating performance led to a unanimous decision as he remained unblemished in his third fight back after a two-year layoff.
Diaz, a former titleholder nicknamed "Baby Bull," got burned out on boxing and took some time off, even opening a trucking company in Houston.
"I got some much-needed rounds," said Diaz, who's hoping for another title shot down the road. "I think I broke him down very well throughout the fight. ... He gave me a good fight."
Provodnikov Goes to War and Stops Alvarado to Capture Junior Welterweight Title
Ruslan Provodnikov predicted that his fight with Mike Alvarado would be a war of wills, and that he would need to break his opponent in order to win. He was 100 percent correct.
Ruslan Provodnikov was the survivor of a brutal war with Mike Alvarado.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO) and Alvarado (34-2, 23 KO) engaged in 30 minutes of brutality on Saturday night in Denver, Colo. and in the end, it was the Russian who emerged from the carnage as the new WBO junior welterweight champion, with a 10th round TKO victory.
The bout produced a fair amount of ups and downs, and each fighter had their moments. When Alvarado settled down and boxed from the outside he was able to blunt Provodnikov's aggression, but when the Russian got on the inside he was able to uncork huge hooks to the head and body.
The body shots were particularly damaging, and seemed to sap Alvarado's ability to control the distance of the fight and box effectively. As the rounds wore on, close quarters combat became more of the norm, and that heavily favored the challenger.
The wheels came off for the hometown favorite in the eighth round when Provodnikov broke through and scored two brutal knockdowns. Alvarado, who was badly hurt, was able to hang on and make it back to the corner.
Provodnikov dominated the ninth and 10th rounds, and seemingly had the champion badly hurt again several more times, which prompted referee Tony Weekes to end the contest in the corner before the 11th round.
SIBERIAN SLUGGER Ruslan Provodnikov Stops Mike Alvarado (TKO10)
Written by Michael Woods - thesweetscience.com
Ruslan Provodnikov said in the pre-fight buildup to the main event from the FirstBank Center in Bloomfield, Colorado, on Saturday night, and on HBO, that his fight with Mike Alvarado wouldn't be decided by strategy or technical skills. Heart and will would be the difference-maker, he said. He was right; Alvarado sat down after the tenth round a beaten man. His corner said they'd pull the plug, and the ref Tony Weeks walked over and asked Alvarado if he wanted to continue. Weeks didn't hear what he needed to, and ended the affair.
Alvarado was almost spent in round eight, going down twice, but showed his own Mile Wide heart by getting his legs back, and firing back. But body shots sapped Alvarado, and stole energy from him. He simply couldn't shake off the concise shots of the rugged Russian, whose power isn't ultra top tier, but is considerable, when paired with his stamina and stubborn aggressiveness.
The WBO 140 pound champ Alvie was 141 and then came back, and made 139.8 on Friday, while Provo was 139.8 at the weigh-in. Alvie is 33 to 29 for Ruslan, and was 157 on fight night, versus 148 for the Siberian.
The loser went 182-563 to 206-597 for the winner.
After the bout, Max Kellerman spoke to Ruslan. The winner said he broke the champ's will because he wanted to please his team. How'd he do it? He had the support of his mom, his loved ones, his team. Freddie Roach helped him immensely, too, he said. He called stand-in Marvin Somodio the "Filipino Freddie Roach." And next? Let me rest and think on it, he said.
Alvarado to Kellerman declined a post-fight interview, then reconsidered. He said he was cool with the stoppage and admitted he was hurting. His corner did the right thing saving him brain cells, he said. He didn't blame a difficulty making weight, and gave Provo full credit.
In the lead-up, Ruslan said his urine after his last fight, against Tim Bradley, was black, proving how hard he was pushed in that bout. It was good to see a Friday Night Fights staple getting another big stage opportunity. It was also good to see Alvarado, who had some brushes with misbehavior and the ramifications of that, getting to this point, getting to a stage of maturity that allowed him to focus on fighting.
Provo trained with Freddie Roach but Somodia worked his corner, with Roach training Manny Pacquiao for his Nov. 23 clash with Brandon Rios. Alvie last fought against Brandon Rios, winning a UD12, in March, after dropping a TKO7 loss to Rios previously.
Top Rank was lead promoter for the card. Art Pellulo, on a stellar run after his fighter Brian Vera gave a fine account weeks back against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., repped the victor.
One dollar from each ticket sold went to help Colorado flood victims, a nice touch.
In the first, the 34-1 Alvie was backing up. A right hurt Alvie. It was toe to toe from early on. The champ’s corner told him to jab, and don’t be stationary after the frame.
In the second, the 22-2 Provo stalked, as Alvie moved more. A right buzzed Provo, who wasn’t able to cut off the ring so well in this one. The hometowner went lefty some, just to mix it up.
In the third, Mike stood close but was busier, and didn’t let Provo be busy. Late in the round he moved more, and was mixing his game up so smartly.
In the fourth, the lefty Alvie went back and forth. He dipped forward and made Ruslan miss long often and made himself hard to hit by various means. Uppercuts worked for Alvie in tight, and this round was not a “running” round for Mike. Somodio asked for body work after the round.
In the fifth, Ruslan was the busier man. In the sixth, Alvie started busy. Ruslan tossed a succession of left hooks then. Lead rights landed for Mike, who was the smarter boxer in the round.
In the seventh, Alvie dictated distance. He worked body shots, but a sharp right scored late for Provo. The Siberian’s corner told him he was winning after. Some blood appeared on his right eye. Alvie’s right eye was swollen.
In the eighth, Alvie went down, at 1:55, for the first time in his career. Body work, mostly the right, and left hooks, hurt Alvie. He was up at nine plus, very nearly cutting it too close as he looked to get his senses. It was the first time he'd been down, amateur or pro. He went down at 1:16, again. A right to the body hurt me in Brooklyn. About ten shots landed, and he went to a knee. But Alvie got his legs, and fired a left hook, and his eyes looked OK to go on.
In the ninth, Alvie ate some clean shots and also launched his own right. A left hook buzzed the Colorado man. He was told he needed a KO to win after the round.
In the tenth, a right landed for Alvie. But rights to the body looked harsh, by Ruslan. Alvie got buzzed bad late by Ruslan. He went to his corner, and a conversation ensued. "Mike, we gotta stop this fight," trainer Rudy Hernandez said. "You don't got nothing left. Huh Mike, huh? You don't got nothing left.. OK we're done." Weeks then came over, seeking confirmation from the fighter himself. "Are you OK?" he asked the champ. "You need to tell me. Tell me you OK? Do you want to continue?" Alvarado didn't seem to answer audibly, though he might have indicated with a shake of his head that he couldn't continue. Weeks saw a beaten man. "That's it, fights over!" he said to the boxer and the world.