On Sunday at 10:35 p.m. ET/PT, HBO will air an encore presentation of Saturday’s unanimous decision by Tim Bradley over Ruslan Provodnikov which delivered 1.2 million viewers, the network announced on Wednesday.
Following the rebroadcast of the win by Bradley, who rose from a 12th-round knockdown to retain his WBO welterweight title, HBO will air Road to Rios/Alvarado II, a special examining the March 30 rematch of October’s bloody Fight-of-The-Year-caliber clash between junior welterweights Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado.
The 15-minute feature looks back at how Rios (31-0-1, 23 knockouts) became the first man to stop Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs), doing so by seventh-round knockout. Rios-Alvarado II will be shown on March 30 at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
AUSTIN TROUT, TRAINER LOUIE BURKE READY FOR SPOTLIGHT AGAINST SAUL ALVAREZ
Mexican WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 31 knockouts) was ringside for two of the last five victories by Austin Trout, the man he will face on April 20 at The Alamodome.
Alvarez, 22, watched in frustration as Trout unanimously decisioned his then-34-year-old brother, Rigoburto Alvarez, in February of 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Alvarez was there as well in December as Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) won his last fight by unanimous decision over four-time, three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs), ending the Puerto Rican challenger’s unbeaten run at The Garden at 7-0 with four stoppage wins before a crowd of 13,096 partisan Cotto fans. Cotto’s overall record in New York was at 9-0, including five stoppages, prior to the loss.
“I knew what we had, it was just a matter of getting that opportunity with Cotto,” said Trout’s trainer, Louie Burke. “We had that opportunity, and we fought a legend against Cotto. I knew what Austin could do, and I knew what I could do because I have a lot of confidence in myself as a trainer.”
De La Hoya predicts that Alvarez-Trout will produce the intensity to rival the controversial draw between then-WBC welterweight beltholder Pernell Whitaker and Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. at The Alamodome in September of 1993.
But Burke is not worried.
“I’ve always had a lot of confidence in my abilities as a trainer, and I’ve always had a lot of confidence in Austin as a fighter. But it was just that we were flying under the radar,” said Burke.
“We live in a place, Las Cruses, New Mexico, where you don’t get a lot of exposure. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not good. I think that I can compete with the best in the world.”
Burke demonstrated his capabilities after the first round against Cotto, when Trout said Burke “lit a fire under my ass.”
“My trainer told me after about the first quarter of the fight that I was giving the fight away. He said, ‘You’re in The Garden, he’s undefeated in The Garden, they want to keep him undefeated,’ and he really lit a fire under my ass,” said Trout, 27, during the post-fight press conference.
“We had to go back to the game plan, because I was kind of falling into his game plan, and so that was that point where I said, ‘I’ve got to let these hands go.’ He wanted me to put leather on him, but I wasn’t doing it.”
Trout made the necessary adjustments, however, and pulled away for the decisive victory, out-landing Cotto, 238-to-183 in overall punches, 192-to-154 in power blows, and, 46-29, in jabs.
Judge Adalaide Byrd scored it for Trout, 119-109, while Steve Weisfeld and Sam Poturaj both had it 117-111. RingTV.com had it for Trout, 116-112
DONOVAN GEORGE MEETS DAVID LOPEZ ON FRIDAY
Chicago’s Donovan “Da Bomb” George (24-3-1, 21 KOs) will meet former title challenger David “The Destroyer” Lopez (41-13, 23 KOs), of Nogales, Mexico, in the main event on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights from Chicago’s UIC Pavilion.
“I’m very well prepared.Donovan George has never fought anyone like me,” said Lopez, who is 35. “Donovan, thank you for the opportunity and may God bless you. Let the best man win.”
George, 28, has gone 2-2 with two knockout victories in his past four bouts, and is coming off last month’s first-round stoppage of James Cook.
“It’s going to be a great night. Every fight is competitive. I made a lot of sacrifices in preparing for this fight. Mr. Lopez is very battle-tested,” said George.
“But he’s had his time. This is my time now. I’m going to make a statement with this fight. Mr. Lopez has fought all the top guys, so when I beat him, it’ll be a message to the other middleweights in the world.”
On the George-Lopez undercard, former two-time welterweight titleholder Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs) will end a 16-month ring absence when he returns against Chicago’s Adrian “El Tigre” Granados (11-2-1, 7 KOs) in a 147-pound bout.
“I’m going back to basics for this fight; back to my roots. I feel it is the best for me. I had a great camp,” said Cintron. “Adrian, I appreciate you taking this challenge and let the best man win. I’m back to welterweight where I belong. I can do what I do best at this weight.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org