Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov have agreed to terms for an HBO-televised clash for Alvarado’s 140-pound WBO belt that will take place at on Oct. 19 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo., near Alvardo’s hometown of Thornton, Top Rank President Todd duBoef informed RingTV.com on Thursday.
Duboef broke the news on his Twitter acount: “Congrats to @MileHighMike303 for agreeing to terms for an Oct 19 match against @RuslanProvod on @HBO at Denver’s 1st Bank Center.”
“It just happened a second ago with Alvarado. It just got made,” said duBoef. “Just as I was closing it with Mike Alvarado, I asked him, ‘Do you want to tweet it out?’ And he said, ‘No, you tweet it out.’ So I tweeted it out about seven minutes ago. Everyone has agreed to all of the terms.”
Provodnikov is coming off a unanimous decision loss in March to the WBO’s 147-pound beltholder Tim Bradley, whom Provodnikov dropped in the 12th round. Alvarado was last in the ring for a unanimous-decision win over Brandon Rios in March that avenged his seventh-round stoppage loss to Rios in a Fight of The Year-caliber bout in October of last year.
“This is a great fight. Stylistically, it’s a great a matchup as you’re going to see,” said duBoef of Alvarado-Provodnikov. “I mean, it’s for the same reason that people were clamoring for Rios-Alvarado, this is just something that shows to everybody out there that if you take on the challenges, and you put on great performances, win or lose, you will always be giving the fans something that they want.
“Both Mike and Ruslan have had big matches where they lost, but they came back. Ruslan wants to come back after the Bradley fight. And he’s getting the chance. He’s got a great opportunity. You have a style like his, there will always be opportunities for you.”
Although Provodnikov (22-2, 15 knockouts) already had agreed to face Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs), the latter had expressed discontent over the money being offered by Top Rank, even as his co-manager, Henry Delgado, had expressed “faith that the fight will happen.”
Alvarado and Delgado could not be reached for an immediate comment.
“It’s a done deal. It’s great. We’ve been waiting for this to happen,” said Artie Pelullo, Provodnikov’s promoter with Banner Promotions. “I think that it’s a great fight for boxing. I think it’s a great fight for Ruslan Provodnikov. I predict that it’s going to be a great fight, but I also predict that Ruslan’s going to win the fight.”
Provodnikov’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, said that the Russian-based fighter wiill soon arrive in Los Angeles to begin preparing with trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
“The fight is a go. Ruslan’s flying in on Monday, and he’s already scheduled to do an HBO public relations shoot for the fight. Ruslan will start to train on Aug. 9,” said Kornilov.
“We’re excited about the fight, it’s all that we have wanted, and we’re very glad that it has all worked out. It’s going to be a great fight. I think the winner of this fight is going to be the real WBO champion of this division, and one of the major players in this division.”
Provodnikov is relieved that Alvarado has accepted the fight.
“I’m very glad that Alvarado finally agreed to this fight,” said Provodnikov. “I’m sure that it’s going to be an unforgettable fight. I will not disappoint my fans.”
Provodnikov expressed enthusiasm for a clash with Alvarado during an earlier interview with RingTV.com.
“Mike Alvarado and I will fight a toe-to-toe war. We’re both brawlers. We will go at each other until it’s over. I always liked fighting fighters that come to fight, and I think Mike Alvarado will usually accept a toe-to-toe challenge most of the time. That’s when Fights of The Year are made. When I fought Timothy Bradley, some of the middle rounds were not exciting because Bradley started running a lot,” said Provodnikov.
“But Alvarado is a different story. He is a great warrior and he comes to fight.I never make predictions for fights. In boxing, you never know what will happen in the ring until the fight happens and the styles clash. I know for sure that both him and I will fight until the end, and this will be a Fight of The Year candidate. I know everybody who watches this fight will be very pleased.”
During an earlier interview with RingTV.com, Delgado expressed confidence that Alvarado would vanquish, and, perhaps, stop Provodnikov, who never has been knocked out.
Provodnikov’s other setback was in 2011 by unanimous decision against Mauricio Herrera, whom Alvarado decisioned prior to his two bouts with Rios.
“As you can see, in his last fight, Mike showed that he was more than a slugger. I think that in that last fight, where he banged it out at the beginning, and then, in the end, he picked his shots, he showed that he can do whatever he wants to do,” said Delgado.
“Mike’s got all of the tools, and it’s just a matter of what he decides to do. The problem is that he’s never made it easy for himself. I would say that that [the Provodnikov fight] is going to end in a seventh- or eighth-round knockout.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com