The last time we saw Ruslan Provodnikov, he was playing Pinball with the head of good ‘ole Tim Bradley, only to watch it- and the decision – slide right past him.
It was the stuff of a “Rocky” movie (pick one).
Famous for engaging in colossal slugfests with Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao at Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym, the 29-year-old product of Beryozovo, Russia took his hostile brand to Bradley in an unforgettable war.
The fact that he looked every bit as menacing as a “007” bad guy in defeat, bodes well for HBO, in that he’s a real player in both the loaded Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight divisions.
The cable giant seemed [on the surface] to be in a state of flux, following the departure of Golden Boy’s roster and its most famous star.
But diamonds in the rough like Provodnikov can help a network that’s been accustomed to shining- keep doing just that. This is especially true, if he’s paired with the right potential foil in the opposite corner.
You uh… You think Mike Alvarado might work here?
We know about his epic, “PlayStation-like” wars with Mexican action fighter Brandon Rios, which are instant classics.
Team Alvarado was eager for the WBO 140lb. champ to be chosen in the Pacquiao sweepstakes, and seems bitter about having been passed over by Rios.
No disrespect, but Rios is not only bigger box-office than Alvarado, but he’s also stylistically the more compelling match-up for Pacquiao.
So when Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez decided to square off, and with Rios poised for a thriller in China with the legendary Pacquiao, in between all of this “had to be” Alvarado vs. Provodnikov.
Oh yes, its on October 19th.
Not that this fight was easy to produce by any means, as the negotiations for the fight itself were rather contentious. The fight will be just the same. Alvarado and Provodnikov have seen where they can possibly fit into the nova-hot welterweight picture with a decisive win over the other, making this fight absolute must-see TV. The champion will try to turn this into a game of Poker, while Provodnikov will fully expect to lure him into his game of Roulette.
Alvarado vs. Provodnikov
This is can’t-go-to-the-bathroom-type theatre, and it’ll probably be more exciting than Rios vs. Alvarado I and Bradley vs. Provodnikov (and I can’t believe I just said that).
Alvarado is going to try to box with Provodnikov, while emptying his machine gun against his AK-47. They’ll throw grenades at each other, sticks, stones, soap and maybe even your kitchen sink. They won’t give a damn.
You’ll actually applaud them for clinching.
The difference in this fight will be the skill set of Alvarado, which is not quite to the level of Tim Bradley’s. Alvarado has too much dawg in him, and not enough moxy, to hold off the intermittent attacks of the Russian juggernaut. Provodnikov is perhaps the physically strongest welterweight in the world, and Roach will have him launching measured attacks throughout. They’ll take a toll, and he will stop Alvarado in 10 exhilarating rounds.
Now, close your eyes for a second and imagine Maidana vs. Provodnikov… Oh my f%$&#@& goodness!