Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov are both fighters looking to right a few wrongs in their careers. Mike Alvarado enters this fight with a well deserved chip on his shoulder. Alvarado has only lost once in his professional career and that came last October to Brandon Rios. Since then he has avenged that loss by defeating Rios in their late-March rematch. Yet Rios is the one in the huge Pay Per View event.
Alvarado feels as though he is one of the best welterweights in the world and a victory against the heavy handed Provodnikov would push his name into that conversation.
Ruslan on the other hand is fighting for the first time since his highly entertaining bout with Timothy Bradley. In that fight he was outboxed by Bradley but nearly ended the champ several times with well placed right hands. In fact his fight against Bradley, in which he concussed Bradley in the early rounds, was more contested than his recent fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. Ruslan knows that he was a mere few seconds from a pay per view headlining bout and looks to show that his style is something fans will come out to watch.
Alvarado and Provodnikov are two fighters that won’t shy away from each other in the ring. Alvarado stood toe to toe with Rios for 12 rounds in March and never once retreated. I expect him to give Provodnikov that same opportunity, which could prove costly.
Provodnikov enters this match up with a renewed focus and Improved footwork. His inability to track Bradley down and finish him off led to his defeat and he’s well aware of this flaw. He’ll do everything in his power to ensure a victory and possibly a rematch with the now top 5 P4P champion, Bradley.
The winner of this fight is set up for a championship fight in the spring. That fight could be against Pacquiao, Rios, or Bradley, depending on who’s victorious. The loser on the other hand would have to further prove themselves before Top Rank gives them a legit main event shot.