Official Weights: Mike Alvarado 139.8 lbs vs Rusian Provodnikov 138.8 lbs
By Jackie Kallen
After avenging his 2012 loss to Brandon Rios earlier this year, Mike Alvarado got himself back on track. The loss to Rios was a tough one, but Rios graciously gave him a rematch five months later and Alvarado won a close decision for the interim WBO light welterweight title.
Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank
Now the 33 year old is facing off against 29 year old Russian boxer Rusian Provodnikov in Denver,Colorado on HBO Saturday night. The fight is for the WBO belt. Alvarado has no plans to give it up. Especially when the fight is in his hometown.
Provodnikov begs to differ with him. He obviously feels it is his time to rule the roost. He lost a close decision to Timothy Bradley in March and it was a brutal battle. Bradley was knocked down in the 12th round but pulled out the win. The Russian warrior showed that he is capable of turning up the heat in the later rounds. If he had another round to fight, he may have defeated Bradley. He doesn’t intend to make the same mistake twice.
Provodnikov’s other loss was to Mauricio Herrera back in 2011. He is relatively unknown, but training under the watchful eye of Freddie Roach has helped him rise his public persona. Due to his work with Manny Pacquiao, Roach won’t be in the corner Saturday night. Provodnikov has said that his work is already done and he will be fine without Roach.
Both of these men have good punching power, so it could develop into a slugfest. Alvarado has promised to box more and use his speed and skills to dictate the pace of the fight. Provodnikov has indicated that he will not be afraid to mix it up if to comes to that.
This will be one of those fights that will be won by the man who wants it the most. They are each capable of beating the other. The man who digs the deepest will come out on top. This could be a really epic matchup.
There is another light welterweight fight on the card that should be interesting to watch. Juan Diaz will bring his 37-4 record to the ring against journeyman Juan Santiago who has lost eight out his last eleven fights. On paper it looks like a total mismatch. Perhaps they put Santiago on the card because he is from Denver and has a local following. If Santiago makes it through the entire 10 rounds it will be surprising. He has been stopped five times in the past.