by David P. Greisman
Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions spoke to BoxingScene’s David P. Greisman at the weigh-in for Saturday’s bout between his fighter, Ruslan Provodnikov, and 140-pound titleholder Mike Alvarado.
BoxingScene.com: Why did you want this fight for Ruslan?
Pelullo: “Because it’s a fight for Ruslan where he fights for the world title. It’s the big stage. And he understands it can lead to other fights, and he’s not afraid to take the fight. If you want to be a star, if you want to be a champion, you’ve got to take the fights you’re not supposed to win. And we didn’t mind coming to Alvarado’s hometown.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you think of Provodnikov gaining such attention from the loss to Timothy Bradley? Obviously he would’ve gained even more by winning, but he wasn’t at all damaged by the loss.
Pelullo: “He wasn’t damaged by the loss because nobody thought he could win the fight. Most of the reporters thought he wasn’t going to be competitive. And what happened was it turned out to be a great fight. People went on Twitter. The fight got more popular as it was going on. People realized that he was a real fighter. When we originally made the Bradley fight, most of your guys, the media, didn’t think it was much of a fight because he was an ESPN fighter.”
BoxingScene.com: With that in mind, how important is a win over Alvarado?
Pelullo: “He has to win.”
BoxingScene.com: Why does he have to win?
Pelullo: “Because you can’t be just a good loser. You have to win. You have to win big fights. You want to be a star? You want to win big, big money? You want to be someone special? You have to win big fights. You have to win the fights you’re not supposed to win.”
BoxingScene.com: Where does a win over Alvarado land Ruslan for his next fight?
Pelullo: “There’s a lot of variables. There’s Bradley, Marquez, Rios, maybe Pacquiao. First we’ve got to win tomorrow night. Then we’ll figure out on Sunday.”
BoxingScene.com: Conversely, where does a loss land Ruslan?
Pelullo: “Same thing. All those guys, depending on how he loses. Years ago, Leonard, Hagler, Duran, Roldan, Hearns, they all fought each other. That’s what’s going on now. You’ve got Bradley, Rios, Alvarado, Provodnikov, Pacquiao. You’ve got all these guys at the right weight class. There’s a great mixture of fights. Even the guys who were losing during the ‘70s and ‘80s, they were still fighting the other guys.”
BoxingScene.com: So you say that he must win, but then that losing doesn’t really hurt him?
Pelullo: “I didn’t say that. A loss hurts him because he can make less money. A win and he makes more money and then he’s fighting maybe Pacquiao or the winner of the Pacquiao-Rios fight. Lose and maybe he’s fighting Marquez. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a rematch with Alvarado. But a win is more significant. But is there another fight for him? Yes. Is there another fight for Alvarado? Yes. It all depends on how they lose.”