by David P. Greisman
DENVER Mike Alvarado came in one pound over the junior welterweight limit for his bout with Ruslan Provodnikov, which will take place Saturday night at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo., in a main event being broadcast on HBOs World Championship Boxing.
Alvarado has two hours (until about 5:20 p.m. local time, 7:20 p.m. Eastern Time) to lose that pound. Provodnikov, last seen making a jump up to the 147-pound division, dropped back down in weight for this bout and tipped the scales at 139.8 pounds.
Alvarado lost a great battle to Brandon Rios in October 2012, getting stopped in the seventh round. Yet Alvarado came back with a different strategy in their March rematch, mixing up boxing and brawling. It worked; Alvarado won a narrow unanimous decision. That brought the 33-year-old from Thornton, Colo., to 34-1 with 23 knockouts.
Provodnikov is coming off a career-making performance, which came in the form of a close decision loss in a war with welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley back in March. The 29-year-old transplant from Beryozovo, Russia, is 22-2 with 15 knockouts.
As for the undercard fighters:
- Former unified lightweight titleholder Juan Diaz came in at 135.5 pounds for his third comeback fight. Diaz, 30, of Houston, returned this past April after two and a half years away from the sport. Hes scored stoppage wins over Pipino Cuevas Jr. and Adailton De Jesus and is now 37-4 (19 KOs).
His opponent, Juan Santiago, a 28-year-old from Denver with a record of 14-10-1 (8 KOs), came in at 134.5 pounds.
- Donovan Dennis, a 26-year-old heavyweight from Davenport, Iowa, with a record of 8-1 (6 KOs, 1 no contest), came in at 221 pounds.
His opponent, Hugo Arceo, a Colorado resident who is 3-0-1 (3 KOs), came in at 245.
- Starling Cordero, a 22-year-old from Carolina, Puerto Rico, with a record of 6-0 (3 KOs), came in at 118.5 pounds.
His opponent, Abraham Rubio, a 25-year-old who hails from Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, and has a record of 3-1-1 (1 KO), came in at 118.5 pounds.
- David Escamilla, a 21-year-old Denver resident who is 2-0 (1 KO), weighed 129 pounds.
His opponent, Jair Quintero, a 20-year-old from Hermosillo, Mexico, who is 1-0-1 (zero KOs), weighed 130 pounds.
- Vitor Jones de Olivera, a 20-year-old nephew of Acelino Freitas who is 0-0 with 1 no contest, came in at 130.5 pounds. His sole pro fight listed on BoxRec came in July 2012 and was a first-round technical knockout win that was overturned.
His opponent, Martin Quesada, a Denver resident who is 2-7 (2 KOs), came in at 128.5.
- Carlos Marquez, a 25-year-old from Longmont, Colo., with a record of 4-1 (1 KO), weighed 145 pounds.
His opponent, Daniel Calzada, a 22-year-old from Dona Ana, N.M., with a record of 8-9-2 (2 KOs), weighed 146.
- Manuel Damairias Lopez, a 23-year-old from Denver with a record of 4-0 (4 KOs), came in at 141 pounds.
His opponent, Julio Chavez, a 38-year-old from Albuquerque, N.M., with a record of 6-5-1 (2 KOs), came in at 143 pounds. Chavez is listed on BoxRec as not having fought since 2010, with one fight in 2009, no fights in 2008 and 2007, and then three bouts in 2006. Hes lost four in a row and is 1-5-1 since September 2005.
Pick up a copy of Davids new book, Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing, at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon. Send questions/comments via email at email@example.comTags: Ruslan Provodnikov , Mike Alvarado , Juan Diaz , Alvarado-Provodnikov , Alvarado vs Provodnikov