Newly-crowned WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov flanked by trainer Marvin Somodio (Photo: Zhanna Popova)
By Chris Robinson
This past Saturday night, trainer Marvin Somodio found himself in perhaps his biggest role as a professional, as he led Ruslan Provodnikov into battle against Mike Alvarado in an HBO attraction that delivered on all fronts.
Inside of the 1STBANK Center in Alvarado’s hometown of Denver, Colo., Provodnikov delivered his finest outing to date in registering a stoppage victory after ten rounds.
With the fight seemingly give and take through the first seven rounds, Provodnikov turned up the heat in the eighth as he twice dropped Alvarado to his knees after two separate barrages of punches. And after a debilitating 10th frame, Alvarado wisely opted to stay on his stool, surrendering the victory to the Russian brute.
When working the corner of Provodnikov, Somodio typically works under head trainer Freddie Roach. But with Roach presently in General Santos City, Philippines aiding Manny Pacquiao ahead of his forthcoming match with Brandon Rios, Somodio found himself in the lead role during the Alvarado fight.
Giving his thoughts on his charge’s triumph, Somodio expressed his elation for Provodnikov.
“Ruslan definitely worked hard in preparation for this fight,” said Somodio. “He deserves this victory as he gave his very best to win this title.”
Somodio was quick to point out how tense the environment was during the fight and revealed how Provodnikov kept his cool under such circumstances.
“The atmosphere was certainly awkward because we were in Alvarado’s home town, so, as expected, we would hear the crowd booing us,” Somodio revealed. “Overall, the whole team did not let the negative vibes get to us. It certainly did not stop Ruslan from being focused and sticking to the game plan. I was happy to see him apply all that Freddie taught him.”
And while the action may have been brisk early on, with Alvarado having his share of telling moments, Somodio could see Provodnikov slowly breaking his foe down.
“Yes, I knew he was doing his best to stay ahead of the game,” said Somodio. “He was throwing as much body shots and putting a lot of pressure on Mike. I know his strategy and I saw the aggressiveness come out of him and [he] was eager to win.”
There are definitely some options on the table for the newly-crowned WBO junior welterweight titlist, but Somodio seems fixed on another duel with Tim Bradley, who Provodnikov lost a close decision to in a wild fight this past March.
“I would like to see a rematch with Bradley,” Somodio affirmed.
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com