Advertisement
Advertisement

Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov: Pre-Report Card

by Cliff Rold

This one is for the meat and potatoes crowd.

In a week abuzz with discussion of Saturday’s documentary on the Arturo Gatti-Mickey Ward trilogy, HBO (9:45 PM EST/PST) headlines with a fight that has the potential to provide action of that class.  Already this year, both combatants have appeared in a Fight of the Year candidate.

Can they steal thunder from themselves?

There’s a lot on the line.  The winner could be a viable option for WBO Welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley, the winner of Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios, or a likely still active Juan Manuel Marquez.

The loser might too.

Boxing is great.  This is a fight. 

Fights are what we really come for.

Let’s go the report card.

Mike Alvarado
Age: 33
Title: WBO Light Welterweight (2013-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’9
Weight: TBA
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 139.85 lbs.
Hails from: Denver, Colorado
Record: 34-1, 23 KO
Rankings: #2 (BoxingScene), #3 (ESPN, Ring), #4 (TBRB, BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 1-0 in interim title fights
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 3 (Carlos Molina MD8; Cesar Bazan KO4; Brandon Rios TKO by 7, UD12)
 
Vs.

Ruslan Provodnikov

Age: 30
Title/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’6

Weight:   TBA

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 141.3 lbs.

Hails from: Beryozovo, Russia

Record: 22-2, 15 KO
Rankings: #6 (BoxRec, Ring), #9 (BoxingScene, ESPN), #10 (TBRB)
Record in Major Title Fights: 0-1
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 15 (Javier Jauregui TKO8; DeMarcus Corley UD12; Timothy Bradley UD12)

 
Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Alvarado B; Provodnikov C
Pre-Fight: Power – Alvarado B+; Provodnikov B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Alvarado B-; Provodnikov C
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Alvarado A; Provodnikov A

Both men have come along the hard way, plying their trade in tough fights and earning their spots on the marquee by giving fans what they paid for.  Provodnikov has been a staple of ESPN2 while Alvarado was a highlight of Top Rank cards and pay-per-view undercards for years.  A pro two years longer (Alvarado turned professional in 2004), Alvarado enters the older man and also the man with homecourt.

The fight takes place in Denver.

There have been questions about how the altitude will affect Provodnikov.  The Russian commits himself to a grueling pace and style.  He comes forward all night.  There have been concerns that he didn’t head to Denver soon enough.  Could that be telling in a long fight?

Considering the type of fights he’s used to, the answer is likely to be no.  Win or lose, altitude is likely to be less a factor than what Alvarado dishes out.  Of the two, Alvarado is the more apt technician.  He showed in his revenge rematch with Brandon Rios that he could stay out of the fray just enough to score the points he needed.  Rios, like Provodnikov, is relentless and throws in higher volume.

Where Provodnikov may trump Rios is in sheer sturdiness.  Alvarado hurt Rios in their second fight.  It remains to be seen if he can do the same to the Russian.  Provodnikov is a block of man that dares an opponent to try to move him back.  His chin has been impeccable.  He’s not a one-punch killer but he has heavy hands and they wear on his foes, as does his will.

There’s something exhausting about a man who takes a big shot and is still standing there waiting to land his own.

While both men enter off wars, it is Alvarado who may have taken more recent punishment.  He is the better defensive fighter of the two, able to use space and his legs better.  But Alvarado doesn’t appeal because he emulates Pernell Whitaker.  He still fights first and nights with Breidis Prescott, twice with Rios, and Mauricio Herrera all added miles.

Of course Provodnikov couldn’t get by Herrera.  He was competitively outboxed in that affair.  A disciplined Alvarado can look to win rounds and do the same.  Will he?  While Provodnikov’s war with Timothy Bradley had to take its toll as well, Bradley perhaps isn’t as punishing as Rios.  As the younger man, Provodnikov may be the fresher force.

The crowd is Alvarado’s and they’ll want blood.  Provodnikov isn’t afraid to bleed.  He’s going to make for a long night.  Can the Russian overcome technical disadvantages and outfight the defending titlist?   

The Pick

Alvarado is the more complete fighter and will be able to box well early…but Provodnikov just keeps coming.  So far he's shown an impressive chin.  Even if he boxes early, Alvarado can't resist a fight.  Both men should be flush with confidence after their last outings but Alvarado may have more wear on him after two wars in a row with the hard hitting Rios.  In the late rounds, that should count for enough to give Provodnikov a chance.

Motivation is a factor.  Provodnikov needs this win more than Alvarado.  Even with a loss, Alvarado still has the profitable option of a third Rios fight.  No matter the increased appreciation the Bradley fight brought, two straight losses would be a big setback for Provodnikov.  The chance to make his career, and set the table for a big 2014 payday, is now.

This is unlikely to end early and should have some dramatic shifts with Alvarado holding a lead well into the second half of the fight.  Provodnikov’s ability to chip away will be a factor over twelve rounds and the thinking here is that as Alvarado slows to exchange late, it will be the Russian landing first and cleaner.  The pick is Provodnikov on a dramatic late rounds stoppage.

Report Card Picks 2013: 40-24

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Epie2 on 10-20-2013

Congrats Cliff Rold for the correct pick of the winner. The stoppage prediction was bulls eye although it was Provodnikov who was leading in the score cards before the stoppage.

Comment by crold1 on 10-20-2013

[QUOTE=jbpanama;13857830]HECK OF AN ARTICLE too, The Cliffster, Nailed It!!![/QUOTE] Haha...I missed both last week.

Comment by jbpanama on 10-20-2013

[QUOTE=AboveTheBelt;13857775]Congratulations, Cliff Rold, for a very accurate prediction in your article![/QUOTE] HECK OF AN ARTICLE too, The Cliffster, Nailed It!!!

Comment by crold1 on 10-20-2013

[QUOTE=AboveTheBelt;13857775]Congratulations, Cliff Rold, for a very accurate prediction in your article![/QUOTE] Thanks but Ruslan turned it sooner than I thought he would. Only had him losing one round after four. He'll burn out sooner than later the way he fights…

Comment by jbpanama on 10-20-2013

[QUOTE=Rudiamonds;13855673]This is going to be a war ..it 50/50 fight if alvado stays smart he go to UD[/QUOTE] Easier said than DONE!!!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (16)
Top Headlines Hearn: Amir Khan Will NEVER Be The Same, NEVER Face Brook Whyte: Don't Be Shocked if Shannon Briggs Drills David Haye Wilder vs. Joshua Will Be Built Up as SHO PPV, Says Hearn Danny Garcia Hits Back at Keith Thurman With Sneaky Reply Haskins vs. Hall is Likely For Brook-Vargas or Golovkin-Eubank Koncz: If Pacquiao Returns, Crawford Not a Thought - Never Was! Mikey Garcia Names Terry Flanagan as Potential Target at 135 Froch Thinks Golovkin Will Struggle With Ramirez, 168 Power Arum: Manny Pacquiao Wants To Fight Again, Not Sure He Can Yet Klitschko Manager Wants Full Investigation on Fury Doping Claim Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras Trade Heated Words Oscar Valdez Ready For The Danger of Hard Punching Rueda Ryan Martin To Make Ring Return on Wilder vs. Arreola Card Povetkin Holds Meeting With WBC: Awaits Decision on Wilder Golovkin, Eubank Jr. Should Sign By This Weekend, Says Hearn SHO's Espinoza: Canelo-GGG in "Fall 2017" Was To Stop Bleeding Photos: Mario Barrios Putting in Work For World Title Eliminator Roman Gonzalez Focused on Cuadras Next, For The Right Price Parker's Promoter: Anthony Joshua Will Eat The Jab All Night! Cecilia Braekhus Returns, Tops First Card in Norway Since 1980 Manuel Avila Continues Unbeaten Run at Cache Creek Casino Smith's Trainer: We Can Beat Canelo, But Will The Judges Agree? News: Boxeo Telemundo Update; Skeete-Lepelley; Jay Harris Thurman Might Make Mandatory Defense Against Avanesyan Next Jonathan Guzman Ready For Wake Title Shot Rabchenko Handed IBF Eliminator On Santa Cruz-Frampton Card Hurd Wants Foes Like Bundrage, Ishe Smith For Upcoming Fights DiBella: Wilder vs. Joshua is Inevitable in Future, But Not Now Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith is NOT a Bad Fight, Explains Hearn Haye: Bellew Fight Must Be at Heavyweight, He Must Add Weight Anthony Mundine Back in Talks For Danny Green Rematch Knockout CP Freshmart Decisions Rojas In A Stinker Ganigan Lopez vs. Jonathan Taconing Will Be a War, Says WBC Joseph Parker Ready To Take November Date For Anthony Joshua Amir Imam, Guillermo Jones Return on Pittsburgh Card Arum: After Ramirez Beats Golovkin, He Will Be a Big PPV Star! Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia: The Fight, Right Now Photos: Mayweather Takes Part in BET Celebrity Basketball Game Ramirez's Adviser: Golovkin One-Dimensional, He's No '85 Bears! Mike Tyson Will Back Trump at Republican National Convention
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement