Referee Tony Weeks with Mike Alvarado (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
The action was once again brisk last night, as a pair of junior welterweights offered up one of the year’s most dramatic clashes.
Inside of the 1STBANK Center in Denver, Colo., as seen on HBO’s airwaves, Ruslan Provodnikov would capture the WBO belt with a bruising 10th round stoppage over a brave Mike Alvarado.
Provodnikov turned up the heat over the second half of the fight and seemed to have the fight all but locked up after scoring two knockdowns in the eighth round.
Alvarado absorbed some huge shots in the 10th and elected to stay on his stool in between rounds, granting Provodnikov with the stoppage win.
Speaking on the tense action that took place inside of the ring, referee Tony Weeks seemed as if he was still on a bit of a high himself shortly afterwards.
“It was a hell of a fight,” Weeks revealed via phone conversation. “A lot of action going back and forth, tremendous punches. It was just great.”
Alvarado went to his knees twice in the aforementioned eighth round and appeared to be wilting in the face of Provodnikov’s non-stop assault.
Asked if he was close to the stopping the contest in that round, Weeks denied such thoughts but did admit that he was paying close attention to Alvarado.
“No, I didn’t,” stated Weeks. “But I noticed, anytime a fighter takes a full count, that’s an indication he’s probably in serious trouble. I wasn’t thinking about stopping the fight but after the second knockdown I had Mike on a short leash. I was really monitoring him.”
As far as his decision to call a halt to the fight, Weeks insists that he gave Alvarado the chance to keep fighting on.
“I went over to the corner,” Weeks explained. “And at the end of the round you could see that he was almost really out on his feet. He was in the wrong corner; I had to direct him to his own home corner. I went over to the corner and I asked Mike directly ‘Are you ok? Do you want to continue fighting?’ and both times he said ‘No’, so I stopped the fight.”
PLEASE CONTINUE BELOW for more Alvarado vs. Provodnikov updates and bonus news from the boxing world…
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Tony Weeks reveals what went on in Alvarado’s corner and why he stopped his fight vs. Provodnikov
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Too many wars for Mike Alvarado? Twin Alex says he should call it a day
Bob Arum will wait until Alvarado-Provodnikov and Pacquiao-Rios are over before mixing and matching
Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov official weigh-in coverage [HD]
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Gennady Golovkin feels Brandon Rios could suffer the same fate as Margarito did against Pacquiao
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com