WBO 140-pound titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov was ringside for Saturday's unanimous decision by Juan Manuel Marquez over Mike Alvarado in their 143-pound bout at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., close enough to make comparisons to his own 10th-round stoppage of Alvarado last October.
Provodnikov, 30, will defend his belt against Chris Algieri on June 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but prior to Marquez-Alvarado he had lobbied for a bout with Marquez.
"It was a good fight, I enjoyed it. Marquez looked very quick. The difference is that Alvarado was able to hurt Marquez. He never was able to hurt me or push me back," said Provodnikov, during a Tuesday interview with RingTV.com.
"I was able to make Alvarado fight the way I needed him to fight, and I can do the same with Marquez. I think that you guys have to make the final decision and interpretation of why Marquez didn't fight me. Compare his fight with Alvarado and my fight with Alvarado and you will understand why he didn't want to fight me."
Provodnikov (23-2, 16 knockouts) registered two eighth-round knockdowns against Alvarado (34-3, 23 KOs), who was coming off a unanimous decision over Brandon Rios in March 2013.
Before facing Alvarado, Provodnikov had scored a 12th-round knockdown during a unanimous decision loss to then-WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley during the same month. That fight was chosen by RingTV.com readers as the 2013 Fight of the Year.
Alvarado debuted at welterweight against Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs), and was floored in the eighth round before scoring a knockdown of his own in the ninth of their contracted 143-pound affair. Alvarado was out-landed in power shots against both Marquez and Provodnikov, but scored almost twice as many against the latter. Marquez outdid Alvarado 163-to-85 in power shots, while Provodnikov bested him 168-137 in the same category.
"I didn't see any difference in the rise in weight," said Provodnikov, referring to Alvarado's being in the welterweight division against Marquez. "I don't think the weight made any difference."
Asked if he thought the damage he inflicted on Alvarado played a role in his performance against Marquez, Provodnikov said, "Mentally I think yes," adding, "But as a fighter, he proved again that he's a real warrior."
A four-division titlewinner who turns 41 in August, Marquez became the mandatory challenger to Manny Pacquiao, whose unanimous decision over Bradley last month regained the WBO 147-pound belt he lost by split decision to Bradley in June 2012.
Marquez also rebounded from October's split decision loss to then-WBO beltholder Bradley, which quelled the momentum built by his sixth-round stoppage of Pacquiao in December 2012. Marquez is 1-2-1 against Pacquiao.