“Mike is a very experienced boxer. He has strong character,” said Provodnikov, who will challenge Alvarado on Oct. 19 for his WBO junior welterweight title. “It’s a clash of two characters. Two wills. Whoever has the stronger will is going to win. Whoever can break the other’s will is going to win. It’s not going to be about technique. Simply war. It’s just going to be a street fight. I promise you that.”
In his last fight, Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) scored a 12th-round knockdown during a unanimous decision loss to WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley, who successfully defended the belt he won by split-decision over Manny Pacquiao last June.
“When the fight was over, I thought I’d won,” said Provodnikov. “But when I cooled down and watched the fight over, I thought the judges made the right decision to give the fight to Bradley. I think he deserved it. He’s a real champion.”
Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) was last in the ring for a unanimous decision win over Brandon Rios that avenged his seventh-round stoppage loss to Rios last year.
“We’re going to fight, regardless,” said Alvarado. “Yeah, I could box all night and switch my game plan up. But we’re going to have to fight, regardless. I’m going to have to fight him off of me in order to box.
“So my boxing game is going to have to go from fighting, to boxing, back to fighting, to boxing and fighting to boxing. So either way, my style is going to change back and forth.”
The other setback for Provodnikov was in January of 2011 by unanimous decision against Mauricio Herrera, whom Alvarado unanimously decisioned prior to his two bouts with Rios. Provodnikov is trained by Freddie Roach.
What does Alvarado see in Provodnikov?
“I see a young, focused warrior waiting to steal my WBO title out of my back yard come Oct. 19 … These fights only make me better. I am scared of the worst that could happen,” said Alvarado, who believes that, like him, Rios and Provodnikov bring their fears into the ring.
“But, I mean, all emotions go through my body going into fights like this. I get nervous. I get anxious. I get excited. But it’s motivating to me. I’m a warrior just like them, and I know that they’re going through the same emotions that I’m going through. I know it. They have to be. They know it too.”
“I didn’t say ‘I don’t have fear.’ Yes, I am afraid. For every fight, I experience fear. But that fear is what motivates me. The fear is probably my greatest opponent. I must defeat that fear,” said Provodnikov. “The opponent is nothing. Fear is what I have to face. Get into the ring, defeat that fear. The rest is nothing. I am afraid … For Mike to win this fight, he has to knock me out. There is no other way.”
FELIX VERDEJO STOPS GARY EYER IN SECOND ROUND
Puerto Rican lightweight Felix Verdejo came up with a bloody, second-round knockout of Gary Eyer, and Verdejo’s hammer-fisted middleweight countryman Jorge Melendez did the same to Jamaal Davis on Saturday’s undercard of a junior middleweight third-round knockout by three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto over Delvin Rodriguez at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
CANELO ALVAREZ’S BROTHER, RICARDO ALVAREZ, STOPS HUMBERTO MARTINEZ IN FIFTH ROUND
Mexican junior welterweight Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez (22-2-3, 14 KOs), the 31-year-old brother of Canelo Alvarez, scored his 13th victory in his past 14 bouts and his 10th stoppage during that streak with a fifth-round knockout of Colombia’s Humberto “Metralleta” Martinez (27-8-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday night in Mexico in the main event of a Televisa and FOX Deportes-televised tripleheader.
In the co-featured bouts, former titleholder Ramon “Principe” Garcia came up with a third-round stoppage of Venezuela’s Juan “Pequita” Lopez in a junior flyweight bout, and Jorge “Pilon” Lara stopped Oscar “Ceviche” Ibarra in the first round of their junior featherweight matchup.
The event was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com