Going in to the fight, many people questioned Mike Alverado’s decision to take on Ruslan Provodnikov as his first fight after the 2 Brandon Rios Wars he took part in the past year! Now those questions will ring louder after the Siberian Rocky went in to Mile High’s hometown and stopped him after the 10th round.
Mike Alverado (34-2(2)) came out slow in the first round, but picked up the pace in the second and moved very well, seemingly frustrating the Russian who seemed like he was not able to put his punches together or deal with Alverado’s constant movement! Mike effectively switched back and forth between right handed and south paw stances, and landed good combinations
The tide turned back to Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2) in the middle rounds, his constant stalking of the champ seemed to tire him out! The Russian Rocky then landed 6 Left hooks in a row to Alverado’s face, followed by a vicious body assault that took the gas out of the champions tank! Ruslan stated after the fight “You have to understand, in this fight, the physical condition and technical preparation are not as important as character and will. The one who’s willing to go until the end will win the match”, and he was right!
After a 7th round in which I though Mike was getting his legs back under him, the 8th round proved to be the beginning of the end. Provodnikov landed a monster right hand to the body that froze Mikes whole body, and followed up with several strait punches that forced Alverado to take a knee, to take an 8 count that was very close to being a 10!! Provodnikov jumped on Mike and didnt let him get his legs back, hitting him with a flurry of punches and knocked mike down a second time in the round, even though Mike didnt look as hurt on the second knock down, the beginning of the end had taken place.
The 9th showed us one thing, and that’s that Mike Alverado is one tough SOB! He came out with intentions that he had to knock Provodnikov out and he swung his right hand and left uppercut like he was trying to end the night, but the new Light Welterweight Champion was having none of it, stalking the fighter and again going to the body! Taking everything the former champ had to offer and giving it back two folds.
The start of the 10th would see Alverado trying to bounce around and move a little more. Provodnikov stopped the movement with a great body shot and again unleashed on him to the point Alverado was barely moving, and his punches had nothing on them. After the 10th, the corner of Mike Alverado told him they were stopping the fight. Mike agreed with them and rightfully so, the Champ had nothing left in the gas tank, and the Russian Rocky was still coming, with no sign of slowing down. The fight was stopped between rounds by Referee Tony Weeks, after asking Mike if he was not going to continue, and the champ said no.
Ruslan Provodnikov would thank Freddy Roach for all of his success, saying that the Hall of Fame trainer would put the mitts and body bag on and let him “Punch him as hard as he could”, molding the young man in to what he is today, A Champion. Provodnikov said “this fight will come down to a battle of wills” and thats exactly what it was. His will to win was greater than Mike Alverado’s on a night most of us wont soon forget! Roy Jones stated that Ruslan had been eating “Deer Hearts and Raw Fish, no GMO’s or any of that stuff” in preparation for the fight! I dont know what it is that he is eating, but he needs to continue to eat it, because he took some really good shots from a known puncher and continued to come forward and throw body shots that would drop a black bear!!
Its back to the drawing board for Mike Alverado, after 3 absolute wars in the past year and a half that would make any fan of boxing smile, the Denver Co native should take a break. He fought Brandon Rios twice in what could have easily been fights of the year, and now after fight Ruslan, could use a few months off to recover. No mans body can hold up to all of the punishment that his has taken, and I for one hope that he comes back and takes a lighter fight first before squaring off with another tough fight like the past 3. I would eventually like to see a rematch between him and Ruslan, if that were to take place I am sure that many of us would tune in! Until then enjoy your time off, you deserve it!