Ruslan Provodnikov after his big victory over Mike Alvarado on Saturday night (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
On Saturday night, Oct. 19, inside of the 1STBANK Center in Denver, Colo., Russian brute Ruslan Provodnikov scored the biggest victory of his career in outlasting hometown favorite and former WBO junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado.
The action was nip and tuck early on, but Provodnikov weathered Alvarado’s thunder and came on in the second half of the fight before scoring two knockdowns in the eighth round.
Provodnikov dished out some more heavy leather in the 10th, as Alvarado elected to stay on his stool in between rounds rather than answer the bell for more punishment.
Calling the fight from ringside for the international feed, longtime HBO analyst Larry Merchant gave great praise to new champion.
“There are very, very few fighters who get to the top level who fight the way Provodnikov does,” Merchant revealed. “Who have the strength and the will. Because most of those kind of fighters run into a boxer who outslicks them or walk into a big punch. And this kid is relentless and indomitable.”
Looking towards Provodnikov’s future, Merchant affirmed his interest in a future fight with Manny Pacquiao.
“Well, sure, I’d love to see [that],” stated Merchant. “He’s sparred many rounds with Pacquiao.”
While not officially in his corner on fight night, trainer Freddie Roach serves as the head trainer for the man nicknamed the “Siberian Rocky”. Roach is actually overseas in General Santos City, Philippines, helping Pacquiao prepare for his Nov. 23 showdown with former lightweight king Brandon Rios at the moment.
If Provodnikov were to ever land the Pacquiao fight, he would likely have to search for a new trainer or work with Roach’s assistant Marvin Somodio.
Either way, Merchant says that all parties seem to understand what is at stake.
“Roach has talked about that and they’ve talked about that,” said Merchant. “They’re professionals and they understand that. When you a get a chance to fight a guy like Pacquiao, that’s where the money is; that’s where the top of the mountain is. We better see what happens with Pacquiao and Rios and whether Pacquiao really wants to fight him. See what the other options are.”
PLEASE CONTINUE BELOW for more Alvarado vs. Provodnikov updates and bonus news from the boxing world…
Tony Weeks reveals what went on in Alvarado’s corner and why he stopped his fight vs. Provodnikov
Brandon Rios’ sparring partner says Ruslan Provodnikov and Rios would be an ‘amazing fight’
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]
Marcos Maidana talks Bradley-Marquez, his training for Broner, and comments from Danny Garcia
Shawn Porter planning to break Devon Alexander down to the body; says he may knock him out
J’Leon Love (15-0, 8 KO’s) sparring Andrew Tabiti (1-0, 1 KO) at the Mayweather Boxing Club
Gennady Golovkin feels Brandon Rios could suffer the same fate as Margarito did against Pacquiao
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com