Alvarado vs Provodnikov Preview: A Potential Light-Welterweight War
By Peter Wells
Last weekend Top Rank’s Timothy Bradley came out with the best display of his career beating Mexican sensation Juan Manuel Marquez via a split decision. The fight proved hard to predict with fans almost split down the middle, and a week later on the 19th October two more fighters with similar styles will clash on HBO in a bout that has divided opinion.
Denver’s Mike Alvarado 34-1(23) risks it all against yet another charge forward brawler in Ruslan Provodnikov 22-2(15) in a Light Welterweight contest.
Coming off the second defeat of his career, Ruslan Provodnikov will be stepping back down to 140lbs after almost stopping Timothy Bradley in March earlier this year. His opponent will be a far different proposition. Like Bradley, Mike Alvarado will fight off the back foot, but unlike Bradley he is a knockout puncher just like Ruslan.
Bradley surprised everyone when going toe-to-toe with the known puncher, but managed to somehow survive a torrid first two rounds as well as several other scary moments. In between the ill-advised brawling, Bradley managed to quite easily outbox Provodnikov before he was floored and almost stopped again in the final round. Bradley was awarded a close decision, but Provodnikov was the man receiving the majority of the credit for his incredible performance.
Alvarado is himself coming off the back of an all-out war; well make that two all-out wars. Brandon Rios was twice his opponent, the first time he was dragged into a phone-booth brawl and was halted in the 7th. The rematch took place in March this year and once again it thrilled fans worldwide. Alvarado changed his tactics and managed to outbox Rios, but not without taking his fair share of solid shots in return. Alvarado won a very close but unanimous decision.
With the nature of both these boxers this has more than just the potential to be a front runner for fight of the year, adding to an already long list of tremendous fights we have witnessed in 2013. The calibre of recent fights has certainly brought boxing out of the shadows and back in the public lights once again.
Expect Alvarado to apply very similar tactics in this fight, where he should have the power to keep Provodnikov honest. Alvarado’s defence is not air-tight so the Russian warrior will have his moments of success, and he will take huge confidence in the way Rios was able to chop Alvarado down in their first encounter.
The pick is for Provodnikov to have huge success early as Alvarado struggles to inject a rhythm into his work. By the 5th round Alvarado will begin to take a firm grasp on proceedings, finding his range and taking advantage of Ruslan’s own machismo. Provodnikov is as tough as nails and it is almost impossible to suggest that Alvarado can force a stoppage. After 12 tough rounds Alvarado can end strong to earn yet another close but unanimous decision win.
Others fights to look out for include Juan Diaz 37-4(19) continuing his comeback on the undercard against Juan Santiago 14-10-1(8). The always exciting Luis Concepcion 29-3(21) takes on Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz 17-2(10). Moruti Mthalane 29-2(20) defends his IBF Light Flyweight titles against Silvio Olteanu 14-6-1(6), and Robert Stieglitz 45-3(26) makes a defence of his WBO Super Middleweight title vs Isaac Ekpo 22-1(16).
Check out HBO’s preview video below:
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