By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO light welterweight champion Mike “Mile High” Alvarado is looking forward to beating No.1 ranked Russian Ruslan Provodnikov when they clash at the 1ST BANk Center in the champion’s hometown just outside Denver, Colorado.
Carlos Narvaez reports that Alvarado can’t understand how Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, whom he beat by a unanimous decision to win the title, landed a blockbuster fight against Pacquiao set for Macau on November 24.
Alvarado who had to shed off one pound to make the 140 pound limit looked drained at the weigh-in said the fight against the hard-hitting, rugged Perovodnikov, a former sparring partner of Pacquiao, means a lot to him ands he will “go out and make a statement.”
Alvarado was clearly disappointed he didn’t get the Pacquiao fight.
"I can't deny that when Rios got the fight against Pacquiao, I was really disappointed. I deserved that fight. But now, I'm the world champion and choose to remain focused. If I beat Provodnikov, who knows, maybe the next fight will be the dream fight, the long-awaited huge payday,” against Pacquiao.
But for that fight to take place Pacquiao who is training relentlessly in his hometown of General Santos City under the celebrated Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has to beat Rios and even his promoter Bob Arum is not prepared to discuss a possible next fight for Pacquiao insisting that the Rios fight won’t be a walk in the park for Manny.
When a possible fight against Alvarado was being considered after Pacquiao suffered a crushing 6th round knockout against Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8 in Las Vegas, Team Pacquiao handlers felt Alvarado was a better boxer than Rios and was also heavy handed and it would have been a risk to take him on at this stage and opted for Rios instead because he appears tailor-made for Pacquiao with his come-forward style.