by Ronnie Nathanielsz
In another brutal ring battle Russian beast and No. 1 ranked Ruslan Provodnikov battered Mike “Mile High” Alvarado before a stunned sell-out crowd in Alvarado’s hometown on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado to win by a 10th round TKO when the champion quit at the end of the round seated on his stool.
Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach, who left his talented Filipino assistant Marvin Somodio to handle Provodnikov along with strength and conditioning coach Gavin McMillan, watched the fight in General Santos City where he is preparing “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao for his showdown against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau on November 24.
After the fight Roach told BoxingScene/Manila Standard it was “a great show and after pretty a close first five rounds, Ruslan put a lot of pressure on Alvarado” with his combinations to the head and body.
Roach praised Somodio and McMillan. He said “they did a great job.”
Roach virtually ruled out a title fight between Pacquiao and Provodnikov, a former sparring partner of Pacquiao. Roach told us “they are good friends and I don’t think they’ll fight” even as he revealed that Provodnikov and Miguel Cotto will be at ringside in Macau to watch the Pacquiao-Rios fight.
However, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who was elated over the terrific fights on the card didn't rule out the possibility of a Pacquiao-Provodnikov fight telling us "Why not?"
But he emphasized that Pacquiao first needs to focus on the Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios fight in Macau on November 24 "and win before anything else."
Arum said "an interesting fight would be between Provodnikov who comes forward and Juan Manuel Marquez a great counter puncher" even though Marquez lost a clodse decision to Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley, recently.
The sell-out crowd of over 7,000 at the ISTBANK Center was treated to an action-packed bout similar to Provodnikov’s war with Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley which Bradley won by the slimmest of margins.
After both fighters connected with some big shots in the opening round with Provodnikov whose mother had flown all the way from his small hometown in Siberia to watch her son, putting on the pressure, Alvarado boxed skillfully in the next two rounds.
Provodnikov continued to stalk Alvarado and dropped him twice with some hellacious punches in round eight with Alvarado barely beating the count after the first knockdown.
Knowing he had his man, the Russian continued to take some good shots from Alvarado who didn’t appear to hurt him before landing some vicious punches of his own.
Provodnikov put relentless pressure on Alvarado and hammered him in rounds nine and ten before the champion decided he had absorbed enough and when referee Tony Weeks went to Alvarado’s corner and asked him whether he wanted to continue two or three times, he answered “No.”
At the time of the stoppage Provodnikov was comfortably ahead on the scorecards of all three judges. Robert Hoyle had Ruslan leading 98-90, Levi Martinez saw it closer at 96-92 while Denny Nelson had Provodnikov ahead 97-90.Tags: Manny Pacquiao , Bob Arum , Ruslan Provodnikov , Freddie Roach , Mike Alvarado