Alvarado vs. Provodnikov Preview

By Robert Ecksel on October 16, 2013
Alvarado vs. Provodnikov Preview
“I have a game plan and I know how I'm going to box to win this fight. But you never know.”

“Whoever has the most willpower, whoever is stronger mentally, is going to win this fight. Every muscle and bone in my body is ready to go…”

In anticipation of Saturday’s fight at the 1st Bank Center in Denver, Colorado, between WBO junior welterweight champion Mike “Mile High” Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) and #1 ranked Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs), from Beryozovo, Russia, the two fighters met with the press this week to discuss their upcoming battle.

Alvarado is the hometown kid fight bringing the fight to his hometown fans.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said, “to defend this title in my hometown and having all of my main supporters here. It’s a blessing.”

Denver is home to the Broncos and Rockies. Boxing usually takes a backseat to mainstream sports like football and baseball. But this weekend is different. The fights are in town, and this fight, as befits the two fighters, will be a war of attrition.

“All of our fights have been top-caliber fights,” said Alvarado, who last two fights were against the force of nature known as Brandon Rios. “The anticipation is from the wars that we have been in [and] this fight has war written all over it. I have a good game plan and I know how I’m going to box to win this fight. But you never know. This fight could turn into a crazy war and we could see Rios I all over again.”

Alvarado turned things around in the second fight with Rios. Rather than get in a slugging match with the prototypical slugger, he boxed his way to victory.

“I am not expecting a war because of the way I have been training and how I’ve seasoned as a professional. I know I am going to stay strong, boxing and focused on my game plan to make the fight go the way I need it to go and not make it a war. But you never know. We’ll see what happens.”

What happens depends on large part on Ruslan Provodnikov. It takes two to tango, and Provodnikov comes to fight. His bout with Timothy Bradley was Provodnikov at his punishing best. But he is ready for whatever Alvarez brings.

“He said he is going to try and box me,” Provodnikov said, “and I am ready for anything. I can also box. I am not only a brawler and we can compete in any style that he chooses. I think if Mike chooses to box it will be better for me because I think that Mike is a better brawler than he is a boxer.

“But I think it will turn into a fight no matter what. I don’t think either of us can run for the entire fight and I don’t think he’ll be able to box with me as well as he thinks. This will turn into a fight. If I can make Timothy Bradley fight me, I don’t think there is anyone that won’t end up fighting me.”

Provodnikov pushed Bradley to the brink. Desert Storm never fought that way before, and judging from his clinic over Juan Manuel Marquez last Saturday in Las Vegas, he has no intention of ever fighting that way again.

“I was not surprised at all,” said Provodnikov about the Marquez fight. “I know Timothy Bradley is a great champion. He comes in prepared for all of his fights and he was 100% ready. I saw what I expected to see, Timothy Bradley outbox Marquez. I heard Marquez say that he was going to have to finish him off, and knowing the type of fighter that Timothy Bradley is I didn’t think that would happen. He couldn’t finish him off. Timothy is a warrior and he was going to come in and fight. Bradley fought the way he fought because Marquez let him fight that way. You cannot beat Timothy Bradley by boxing. You need to pressure him and break him down inside and outside and to the body. That’s the only way you can beat that guy. You cannot box him. I think that’s the main mistake Juan Manuel Marquez made. He thought he could beat him by boxing.”

Alvarado agrees with Provodnikov about Bradley.

“Bradley fought great,” he said. “He obviously did what he had to do. He had a game plan together to win that fight and he stuck to it. He didn’t let Marquez take him out of his game like Ruslan did and executed to win the fight. I give Tim a lot of credit. He’s a great champion and it was a good fight to watch. He fought the wrong fight against Provodnikov and he recovered well from that. He walked in there thinking he was going to be able to walk through him. I fought in that same venue, same ring and same referee so I knew what he was going through. My fight (with Rios) turned into the same kind of fight so maybe it’s something about that place.”

Comparing fighters is inevitable, because boxing is, among other things, the essence of one-on-one competition.

“I think that Timothy Bradley and Mike Alvarado are two different fighters,” said Provodnikov. “Bradley is a lot more awkward than Mike. I think my fight with Alvarado will be more interesting that the Bradley fight. Obviously like in any fight, the fighter is going to have to adjust. A lot of different fighters have had a plan when coming into the ring with me, but usually in fights with guys like Mike Alvarado and myself the plan changes after the first punch. But whoever has the most willpower, whoever is stronger mentally, is going to win this fight. Every muscle and bone in my body is ready to go.”

Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov will be broadcast live on HBO beginning 9:45 PM/ET.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Mike Alvarado vs Ruslan Provodnikov Face Off with Max Kellerman (HBO full version)

Rios vs. Alvarado II: Highlights (HBO Boxing)

Ruslan Provodnikov Feature (HBO Boxing)

Full Fight: Bradley vs. Provodnikov 2013 (HBO Boxing)

Ruslan Provodnikov vs Mike Alvarado - PROMO ᴴᴰ | Promo

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  1. Ted 08:17pm, 10/19/2013

    Bob, Great call

  2. Darrell 08:07pm, 10/19/2013

    Wow….Provodnikov.  I was rooting for Alvarado but am not at all surprised the Siberian powerhouse did the job here.


  3. Bob 03:21am, 10/19/2013

    I think Alvarado suffers from the hometown curse and gets stopped in 7. I hope not, but it happens all too often when fighters “come home” after making it big. Provodkinov is just too dangerous for a hometown defense.

  4. Ted 08:22am, 10/18/2013

    Sometimes there are fights that scare me. Sometimes the fighters put themselves at great long term risk. This is one of those. I wish it had not been made. There is a story line here, but I am just too burned out to write it.

  5. Rick 09:17am, 10/17/2013

    I got Alvarado on this one. Bradley had Provodnikov hurt a couple time in their fight so I think Alvarado can stop him. Provo also seemed to gas out in the late rounds but Mike seems to have good stamina. Either way Im just ready to see it.

  6. NYIrish 03:57am, 10/17/2013

    Think Ruslan stops him in a thriller.

  7. Darrell 08:59pm, 10/16/2013

    Looking forward to this one!  Hope I get a decent livestream for it…

    Alvarado by…..close UD, only due to the fact that he showed excellent discipline in sticking to his fight plan in his last fight out against Rios.  Still wouldn’t be surprised if it ended in KO to either (Prov more likely) or decision to Prov.

  8. volti 08:18pm, 10/16/2013

    Can’t wait on fight night, it will be WW 3!!!

  9. Ted 11:43am, 10/16/2013

    Too close to call for me.

  10. Joe 06:22am, 10/16/2013

    Provodnikov by KO.  This guy is really good and after learning a valuable lesson in the ring he’s going to be a better fighter henceforth.

  11. Pete The Sneak 05:37am, 10/16/2013

    A fight fans fight. These are the kinds of fights you invite your non-boxing fan friends over to see. I tell you, I’m not making any prediction here. I love both guys and let the blood/sweat/tears fall where they may….On a separate note boxing fans.. if anyone reading here has not caught the ESPN 30-30 series about ‘No Mas’ (the infamous Leonard/Duran fight), you have to sit down and watch this. Great stuff about the fighters today, footage of their 3 fight rivalry and all that went with it, some surprising revelations by Ray Leonard, as well as an ‘attempted’ explanation by Duran to Leonard as to what happened that infamous night in New Orleans. Great stuff…Peace.

  12. Clarence George 04:51am, 10/16/2013

    This should be a good fight, and one that I think will go the distance—Alvarado by close unanimous or split decision.  I hope I’m wrong—I like Alvarado, but prefer Provodnikov.

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